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Tuesday, July 30, 2013


(Connie Jackson as Alina; Damon Shalit as Frikkie and Chella Ferrow as Sussie)

The stark, naked reality of this spine chilling project cannot be commended highly enough. (Review by  John Harley)

African Gothic is a film based on Reza de Wet's stage play Diepe Grond written by Reza de Wet and directed by Gabriel Bologna, starring Damon Shalit and Chella Ferrow.

African Gothic is a gritty, poignant drama set in a decaying farmhouse in the desolate heart of the parched Free State, South Africa. On the surface it depicts the dangerous and passionate relationship between two deeply troubled lovers Frikkie and Sussie, their benign domestic worker and a hapless lawyer who pays them a visit.

Yet, dig deeper (pun intended) and one exposes a haunting, visceral cinematic masterpiece!

This film is bold, spine-chilling and an in-your-face experience - definitely not for the faint hearted! - a classic example of a Peter Brook 'Immediate Theatre' concept. For the audience there just is no escape; every visual and auditory detail drawing you deeper and deeper into the horrific, dismal reality of Frikkie and Sussie's bizarre lives.

A very strong poetic flavour also dominates throughout the movie, bombarding you with imagery and symbolism that is quite merciless. It would be quite futile trying to 'classify' this film with regard to a specific genre~ realism, magical realism, surrealism, absurdism ... you name it, it is there, in some form or another!

The stark, naked reality of this spine chilling project cannot be commended highly enough. The directing was faultless, the high risk, no compromise acting superb and the editing and sound quite sublime.

I can only give this brilliant movie 5 stars! It is completely satisfying, and feeds the creative soul on levels that one cannot even begin to comprehend.

"One day (in SA) the waters WILL come, And it will wash everything away". May that day come soon -in the meantime, let's keep digging! Bravo! – John Harley