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Shepherds and Butchers (2016)

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A lawyer takes on a case of a prison guard in South Africa who is traumatized by the executions he's witnessed.


Oliver Schmitz


Chris Marnewick (novel), Brian Cox (adaptation)
5 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Andrea Riseborough ... Kathleen Marais
Steve Coogan ... Johan Webber
Inge Beckmann ... John's Sister
Garion Dowds ... Leon Labuschagne
Deon Lotz ... Warrant Officer Rautenbach
Robert Hobbs ... Pierre De Villiers
Marcel van Heerden Marcel van Heerden ... Justice J.P. van Zyl
Rob van Vuuren Rob van Vuuren ... Prison Medical Officer
De Klerk Oelofse ... Eben Christiaan Coetzee
Matthew Dylan Roberts ... Investigation Officer
Brett Williams ... Tennis partner
Carel Nel Carel Nel ... Karel Niemand
Michael Richard Michael Richard ... Doubles Partner
Nicola Hanekom Nicola Hanekom ... Dr. Schlebusch
Siya Mayola ... Condemned Man


SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS follows a jaded lawyer, John Weber (Steve Coogan), who takes on a seemingly hopeless multiple murder case and uncovers scandalous shortcomings in South Africa's capital punishment system as he mounts a defense for a prison guard traumatized by the executions he took part in.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing and violent content | See all certifications »



South Africa | USA | Germany


English | Afrikaans

Release Date:

23 March 2017 (United Arab Emirates) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hangman: Shepherds and Butchers See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(edited VOD)


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Did You Know?


Garion Dowds attended Reddam House school in Bedfordview, South Africa, where his mother teaches Drama. See more »


Written by Barry Gibb, Steve Gibb and Ashley Gibb
Performed by Vusi Mahlasela and Barry Gibb
See more »

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User Reviews

captivating narrative and dialog
1 February 2017 | by michaeljtrubicSee all my reviews

Very similar to his work on Philomena. A brilliant narrative investigating a mass shooting and the tortured soul on trial. Much more that a legal drama. Its a dark journey into a barbaric (and hopefully much remedied) prison system in South Africa.

Steve Coogan has carved himself a specialty with these films. He brings intensity and brilliant deduction into this character and his scenes.

Also of note is that this appears to be from first time writer and a first time director. Very pleasant surprise that they are so good at delivering a moving subject in their first venture to attract the talented Mr. Coogan.

The young murderer is also very well cast and I can expect other large roles in his future.

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