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At Thy Call (2008)

2:53 | Trailer
Set in apartheid South Africa 1984, this is the story of a young man whose Afrikaner values are tested as he accepts the compulsory draft into the military and befriends a rebellious ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Heinrich Meyer Heinrich Meyer ... Danie Joubert
Ryan Dittmann Ryan Dittmann ... Nick Smith
Carl Haasbroek Carl Haasbroek ... Johan Van Wyk
Dean Clark Dean Clark ... Cpl. Pienaar
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frikkie Geyser Frikkie Geyser ... Cpl. Van Tonder
H.O. Meyer H.O. Meyer ... Danie Joubert


Set in apartheid South Africa 1984, this is the story of a young man whose Afrikaner values are tested as he accepts the compulsory draft into the military and befriends a rebellious Englishman. He must decide to either stand up for what is right or answer the Call to the Republic and his family. Written by Christopher-Lee dos Santos

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At thy call we shall not falter, firm and steadfast we shall stand, at thy will, to live or perish, oh South Africa dear land.


Short | War




South Africa


Afrikaans | English

Release Date:

3 December 2008 (South Africa) See more »

Filming Locations:

Johannesburg, South Africa


Box Office


$2,400 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (HDCAM)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The actors were sent on a 4 day "Vasbyt" bootcamp. Trained by an ex SADF corporal, Dean Clark, who actually served in Angola. Clark gave the actors the worst 4 days of their lives, but by the end of the bootcamp, they feared yet respected him. The actors were not told who would play Corporal Pienaar in the film, and were horrified to learn that the much hated Corporal Clark who took them for basic training before principle photography, was actually going to play the corporal in the film. Dos Santos did this to maximize the reality of the situation and try get true feelings from the actors. The fear you see in their eyes on set, is real. The never mixed actor shoot and Corporal Clark kept them in line throughout the film. See more »

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User Reviews

Very true story, well put together. Pity its so short.
19 November 2012 | by stevenreviewsummersSee all my reviews

Being a white Englishman who served in the South African Defence force, I have a direct relation to this film. I can definitely say I can relate to the character of Nick in this little movie. For a student film to be brave enough to tackle the controversial topic that the film explores, says a lot about the filmmakers. They've got balls. After watching the youtube trailer for the film and seeing all the negative comments, the arguments taking place and the memories of my own time served in the defense force, I knew I had to get hold of this film. It really does ask an important question which I believe many viewers have missed completely.

If you are looking for a gung ho action movie, or a hero flick, this is not it. This little film will stand out and say it the way it was. My experience in the defense force was not something I enjoyed. Being part of an apartheid government that brainwashed us, young kids, to protect a border from communism. To keep a majority population at bay in the townships. We were not trained to battle for freedom, we were trained to oppress it.

I've never had the inclination to voice my opinions on my time in the defense force, mainly because the majority of the brainwashed soldiers that served were very much like the Afrikaans character in the film who believes he is doing everything right. And because of that, they react no differently to my opinions, threatening me or getting very aggressive. I believe the filmmakers have opened a wound that many ex servicemen never were able to close after apartheid fell and handed the South African Government over to the very men we were trained to kill. I believe these very men feel betrayed, and seeing a film like this, that brutally tells the truth, the clear divide between English and Afrikaans troops, is something that opens a can of worms.

I say Bravo and well done. I have never been able to explain to my wife, the experiences I had during my time in the defense force. My son has often been curious about my time there, and now finally, I can show them a film that speaks the very words for me.

So thank you for telling my story. I know I am one of the few who believed what was going on was not right. I will be called a traitor.

But thats the wonderful thing about todays world. We are free to have an opinion. Or are we?

You decide.

A very well put together film. I highly recommend it if you have an open mind about the South African Defense Force.

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