5.9/10
199
9 user 15 critic

Boesman and Lena (2000)

Not Rated | | Drama | 4 April 2001 (France)
Intense love and hate bring a man and woman through personal tragedy.

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Writers:

(play), (adaptation)

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
... Boesman
... Lena
Willie Jonah ... Old Man
Graham Weir ... Recycle man
Anton Stoltz ... Farmer
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Storyline

On a cold afternoon during the Apartheid era, an aging "Brown" couple arrive at the Swartkops mud flat near Cape Town. They are scavengers rousted out of their shanty town that morning by Afrikaners. They've walked all day carrying what they possess. She may be alcoholic, he's prone to anger: earlier that day, he beat her for something she didn't do. Over the next 12 or 15 hours, their relationship goes through a storm, partly as each remembers earlier events both happy and tragic, and because Lena, over Boesman's objections, takes into their camp an elderly Xhosa tribesman, a Black. Boesman is cruel to the old man, she is kind, and as rain heads toward them, a confrontation develops. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Kino International

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 April 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Boesman & Lena  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,684, 5 November 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$32,148, 17 December 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director John Berry died during post-production. See more »

Connections

Version of Boesman and Lena (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Criminally underrated
30 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

] Haven't seen this film? Haven't even heard of this film? It wouldn't surprise me. One of the few truly "independent" films produced in the last ten years, no studio had faith in the picture and it was never picked up for major distribution. The independent company Kino Films, gave BOESMAN AND LENA a very limited run with virtually no promotion, and the majority of major film critics didn't even bother reviewing it. I guess a movie based on a one act, one set play about the apartheid and its affect on two individuals never really had a chance in today's market - and it's the intelligent film-lover's loss.

For the record, both Angela Bassett and Danny Glover deserved Ocsar nominations (as did the cinematographer) but the film received such little fanfare that I can't even blame the academy on that one. This is a film that is challenging, thought-provoking, and heartbreaking, and it actually requires the audience to meet it on it's own terms. Taking that into consideration, it is definitely not a movie for mindless entertainment. Director John Berry wisely does not attempt to dress-up Athol Fugard's play. Sure, we're given a few fractured flashbacks and some breathtaking scenic shots, but the film version of BOESMAN AND LENA remains, on the whole, a story of two people living in inhumane conditions.

Stripped of their basic human rights, Boesman (Glover) and Lena (Bassett) have no one left to attack but each other. A third character joins them for awhile (Willie Jonah, amazing in a largely silent role), but the film's focus never strays from the title characters and what they've become. Bassett and Glover give brave performances as the broken couple, performances that simply could not be improved upon. Vigorously and brutally stimulating, both intellectually and emotionally, BOESMAN AND LENA deserves to be rediscovered of home video. Hands down, one of the best film of the year 2000.


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