6.8/10
11
1 user

On the Wire (1990)

This bleak and claustrophobic chamber piece traced the breakdown of the marriage between an Afrikaner soldier and his wife after the terrible revelations about his work activities.

Director:

Elaine Proctor

Writer:

Elaine Proctor
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Michael O'Brien Michael O'Brien ... Wouter Fourie
Aletta Bezuidenhout Aletta Bezuidenhout ... Aletta Fourie
Gys de Villiers Gys de Villiers ... Piet
Laurens Seliye Laurens Seliye ... Dominee
Valerie Gozo Valerie Gozo ... Lizzie
Marie Human Marie Human ... Hannie
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Storyline

This bleak and claustrophobic chamber piece traced the breakdown of the marriage between an Afrikaner soldier and his wife after the terrible revelations about his work activities.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 September 1990 (South Africa) See more »

Filming Locations:

Zimbabwe

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Box Office

Budget:

£110,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
the dark heart of white South Africa
21 December 2010 | by mjneu59See all my reviews

With a limited budget and a largely non-professional cast, 26-year old writer director Elaine Proctor made one of the more perceptive dramas about Apartheid, presenting a journey into the twisted conscience of white South Africa, represented by a Defense Force veteran who, after too many years in Conrad's Heart of Darkness, brings the war home with him. The memory of his atrocities and the repressive habits of his strict religious upbringing soon lead to a series of increasingly brutal sexual encounters with his wife (who at first actually enjoys being treated "like a kaffir"), and to an equally violent reaction against the hypocrisies of his privileged Calvinist community, In Proctor's brilliantly understated script the silences between words are often more eloquent than the dialogue itself, and the uncomplicated imagery (shot in raw 16mm) occasionally gives way to startling ironies: a birthday cake, for example, topped with tiny, decorative barbed wire. The film is complex, ambiguous, and more than a little disturbing, prompting an equal measure of sympathy and revulsion toward its protagonist. The ending may be a little too optimistic, but a single ray of sunlight is necessary after so grim a story.


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