Based on the Jan van Tonder novel with the same title. It tells the story of a 1966 railway community, told through the eyes of an eleven year old boy, called Timus. Timus and his family are trapped within the structural violence caused by the government and the church at the time. An unlikely hero, Joon, often appears to save Timus and these acts of kindness is seen by Timus as miracles. Timus tells the story of Joon and also his own coming of age and loss of innocence and how Joon tries to give a little of that lost innocence back to Timus. Nobody shares this point of view with Timus, Joon however goes on to save this whole community at the end. It is a story with unforgettable characters and it combines the magical world of childhood beautifully with the realistic world we live in.Written by
Salmon de Jager
The lawns of eight neighboring houses had to be painted green as the film is set in Durban, a city in a lush tropical region of South Africa. Production of exterior shots were in fact done at the height of a Highveld winter in Johannesburg, 550km from Durban. See more »
Excellence on all levels.
Normally, when I choose a movie, I stand at the video shop and read other user reviews on IMDb on my phone. Roepman (Stargazer) was no exception, and I am glad I picked it up and finally decided to watch it with my wife.
I don't easily rate a movie this high, let alone take time to write a review on IMDb. This is one of the best movies ever to come out of South Africa.
Great acting, great cinematography, spot on historical context and a great sound track. Then there is the story line. Perfect. Some of the storyline is still left to the imagination, as not all plots are conclusive. Things are treated exactly as they are, and not sugar coated.
As an Afrikaans South African boy, growing up and attending the Dutch Reformed Church in Newcastle, Kwazulu Natal, I can stand for the authenticity of this story. The photos I have from my parents and our family in the early years in Newcastle, looks very similar to the town depicted in the movie.
Many of the characters and family situations and stories sound similar to what I have witnessed or heard off while growing up. I think it's a very honest and raw window into a typical Afrikaans community of the 60's and 70's.
The Director also handled sexuality, puberty, coming of age and other issues with an incredible wisdom and sensitivity showing just enough to propel the story forward.
I highly recommend the movie and have found myself wondering about the fate of many of the characters long after the closing credits stopped. I really hope there are more films of this standard to come out of South Africa, and I hope other film makers take note, because THIS is how you make a proper movie!
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