6.3/10
599
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 »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rouxnet Brown Rouxnet Brown ... Claas Blank
Shaun Smyth 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 »

Also Known As:

プロテウス See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,047, 1 August 2004

Gross USA:

$62,031

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$62,031
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Varied Reactions Film
6 December 2004 | by leslieadamsSee all my reviews

This "art house" film, based on factual documents, depicts real events which are informative and provide a historical context for some of today's social attitudes.

Although the recorded events took place in the mid-18th century, the director has peopled his set with deliberate contemporary anachronisms. This is apparently to tie together time periods, showing significant similarities.

The film itself seems to have a divided audience, from those who love it to those whose reactions are the opposite. While the events covered are pretty grim and unpleasant, the production is well shot and the quality of the actors is uniformly strong.

In my opinion, though, here's a film that will probably have a limited general, together with an appreciative special, audience. It is commendable that the South African government has opened its political policy for more inclusiveness in artistic subject matter. Well produced by a Canadian company.


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