6.5/10
587
14 user 16 critic

Proteus (2003)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 7 June 2004 (USA)
An interracial gay love story set in early 18th century South Africa about two men -- a black prisoner living in a Cape Town penal colony and a Dutch sailor -- who weather injustices as a result of their affair.

Directors:

John Greyson, Jack Lewis (uncredited)

Writers:

John Greyson (script), Jack Lewis (script) | 1 more credit »

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rouxnet Brown Rouxnet Brown ... Claas Blank
Shaun Smyth ... Virgil Niven
Neil Sandilands ... Rijkhaart Jacobz
Kristen Thomson ... Kate
Tessa Jubber ... Elize
Terry Norton Terry Norton ... Betsy
Adrienne Pierce Adrienne Pierce ... Tinnie (as Adrienne Pearce)
Grant Swanby ... Willer
Brett Goldin Brett Goldin ... Lourens
A.J. van der Merwe A.J. van der Merwe ... Settler
Deon Lotz ... Governor
Jeroen Kranenburg Jeroen Kranenburg ... Scholz
Andre Samuels Andre Samuels ... !Nanseb
Johan Jacobs Johan Jacobs ... Nama Prisoner
Katrina Kaffer Katrina Kaffer ... Kaness
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Storyline

A recreation of the decade-long love affair in the 18th century in a Cape Town penal colony on Robben Island. The two lovers were a Dutch sailor imprisoned there for sodomy and a young Khoi herder. The Khoi were part of the Hottentot tribal group and as such were the untouchables of that time. The two were placed on trial and this love affair and the legal battles are the grist of Greyson and Lewis' film based partly on court transcripts from the time. In South Africa, during the 1700s, sodomy was a crime deemed worse than murder, and the fact that these two young men had indulged in it was also complicated by the fact that this was an interracial love affair. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada | South Africa

Language:

English | Afrikaans | Dutch | Nama

Release Date:

7 June 2004 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pluck Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Beneath the opening title, the phrase 'Based on a true story' appears in Africaans, then in Dutch, and then English. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Love in a hot climate
15 March 2006 | by PaulLondonSee all my reviews

When the film began the flat DV photography and poor subtitling made me wonder if this was going to be worth the effort. With its anachronisms and stylised start it would be too easy to write this off as sub-Jarman. But, it is worth sticking with this 'historical' inter-racial love story set in South African as its themes of intolerance are still relevant today.

Although the low budget is very obvious, so is director Greyson's imagination and belief in this project. An interesting film which almost scuppers itself with its bad start but which redeems itself as it progresses.


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