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The Story of an African Farm (2004)

The 1870's. South Africa. Life is normal at the farm on the slopes of a Karoo Kopje. Fat Tant Sannie (Karin van der Laag) looks after her charges, the sweet Em (Anneke Weidemann) and the ... See full synopsis »


David Lister

On Disc

at Amazon




Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard E. Grant ... Bonaparte Blenkins
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Otto
Karin van der Laag ... Tant Sannie
Kasha Kropinski ... Lyndall
Luke Gallant Luke Gallant ... Waldo
Anneke Weidemann Anneke Weidemann ... Em
Elriza Swanepoel Elriza Swanepoel ... Trana
Nichol Petersen Nichol Petersen ... Tant Sannie's Maid
Abbe-Gail Hartogh Abbe-Gail Hartogh ... Maid 2
Linda Louw Linda Louw ... Maid 3
Chris-Jan Steenkamp Chris-Jan Steenkamp ... Sheep Shearer
Ibrahim Adams Ibrahim Adams ... Blacksmith
Clive Smith Clive Smith ... Labourer1
Jan Bobbejee Jan Bobbejee ... Farm Labourer 2
Willem Saulse Willem Saulse ... Farm Labourer 2


The 1870's. South Africa. Life is normal at the farm on the slopes of a Karoo Kopje. Fat Tant Sannie (Karin van der Laag) looks after her charges, the sweet Em (Anneke Weidemann) and the independent Lyndall (Kasha Kropinski), with a strict Biblical hand - it was Em's father's dying wish. Gentle Otto (Armin), the farm manager, runs the farm and cares for Waldo, his son. Waldo (Luke Gallant) is bright, and busy building a model of a sheep-shearing machine that he hopes will make them all rich. Things change when the sinister, eccentric Bonaparte Blenkins (Richard E. Grant) with bulbous nose and chimney pot hat arrives. Their childhood is disrupted by the bombastic Irishman who claims blood ties with Wellington and Queen Victoria and so gains uncanny influence over the girls' gross stupid stepmother, Tant Sannie.

As the story of Lyndall, Em and Waldo unfolds to its touching end, we learn not merely of a backwater in colonial history, but of the whole human condition.

Armin Cruz's intense ...

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and brief mild language



USA | South Africa



Release Date:

8 October 2004 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

Bustin' Bonaparte: The Story of an African Farm See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rodini Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Olive Schreiner's book outdated, slight??
27 January 2005 | by noilieSee all my reviews

According to Philip-ct, the book is outdated. The same can be said for most "old literature". Forget his "balanced" report. The book is a classic of world literature and rightly so. The film is slight, but entertaining, very well made and has been criminally overlooked internationally- 7 votes at IMDb- (and nationally). South-Africans just don't seem to take well to cinematic subjects from their own back yard. Our "Top Ten" at the box office reads like any other across the world. "Story of an African Farm" made the number 10 spot in it's opening weekend and then dropped off the charts. But its part of the ravages of commodity culture. "Yesterday", a now Oscar nominated film has been seen by a slight few in this country and has a total (as of this entry) of 38 votes at IMDb "EARTH's BIGGEST MOVIE DATABASE". These are thoughtful, well made films and do not deserve such treatment.

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