Modder en Bloed (2016) Poster

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Feelgood movie with popular tropes
cyril-klopper21 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It feels wrong to review an Afrikaans language film in English, but here we go.

Blood and Glory (Modder en Bloed) is part revenge drama, part patriotic film, part propaganda piece and part sports drama. The plot revolves around a young Afrikaner man who leaves his wife and newborn son behind to fight in the Second Boer War (aka Anglo-Boer War) against the British Empire.

He returns to find his home destroyed and family gone. After an ill- fated attempt to rescue his family from a concentration camp, he is himself arrested and shipped of the the remote island of St Helena.

Here he grows from being suicidal to being hopeful once more, all thanks to the newly discovered game of Rugby.

It's a typical feel-good movie with lots of popular underdog tropes: Guy fights for freedom, guy loses everything, guy endures the torment of cruel villain, guy finds new hope, guy wins, happy ending.

The acting was done with much gusto and it's clear that the cast poured all their energy into this film. Unfortunately there are moments of boredom when I looked down at my watch. There are also moments when I felt like cheering, and there are moments when I seriously doubted the historical accuracy of the events portrayed.

I give it a 6/10 because the movie is a lot of fun but the plot is just so standard. Also, the film should've had either a stronger focus on comedy or on tragedy. The equal mixture of the two felt odd.
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Excellent and compelling viewing.
rmrobinson-449782 October 2016
This is a very good film and one that is long overdue. It was enormously healing for me to watch this, having lived in England and being told constantly that the Afrikaner was backward. Of course, it is idealistic, in the sense of evolution and salvation offered to some of the English participants. The English never repented and Emily Hobhouse, heroine as she was, was far in the minority. There was no one to save us by a people intent on wiping us out. The truth is that the awful Australian is made to pay the price for the truly awful misdeeds of the British (directed by the English) in that war. Some reviewers suggested that the Australian ought to have been depicted with greater nuance. Really? Where was the nuance when our women and children were murdered in concentration camps? Where was the nuance when everything we owned was destroyed? Where was the nuance when in excess of 20 000 black South Africans were murdered in even more horrific circumstances in separate (apartheid) concentration camps? With this war having had such an effect on our history and so many English lies and excuses presented about it, this film should be viewed, not only by every South African, but by every citizen of every colonially oppressed country as well as the Germans, French, Dutch and citizens of the five eyes nations.
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Very disappointing film...
kassdo22 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
No idea about the theme of the film till I read a synopsis... maybe missing the point, even though I know the Springbok Rugby team, I thought this was a historical story about British Imperial oppression against Boers in South Africa. Never imagined the storyline was relevant rugby history. Not from SA, maybe that one moment with the green Springbok Uni was important but film went from historical drama to fluffy sports story in seconds, virtually ripping off The Longest Yard or Victory... an empty feeling at the end when you learn 26,000 people died in the concentration camps and the Springboks never lost to the Brits for 50 years.

Actually went back the morning after my review to look at the history of the Springboks... and nowhere is it mentioned in the team history (wiki) that the team was created in a concentration camp on the St. Helena Island. There was a game played, but the timeline has it after the end of the war. Visually, the costumes were stunning and it looked good as period piece. Just hate when historical facts are manipulated in films and justified with the phrase "based on true events".
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