Lack of unemployment and poverty forces a family to leave their hometown with their bright young son to look for a better future. Their son struggles to adapt in his new environment and face some challenges including the abuse of a school bully.
SCREENPLAY BY: CEDRIC AFRICA
DIRECTOR: WESSEL VAN HEERDEN (iFILM)
CINEMATOGRAPHY: WESSEL VAN HEERDEN (iFILM)
MUSIEK: MAURITZ SNYMAN, DARRYL DE LANGE, DARREN CURTIS MUSIC
LANGUAGE: AFRIKAANS WITH ENGLISH SUB-TITLES
DURATION: 70 MINUTES
The story is set in a Klein Karoo town that is commonly known for its ostrich farming and its high temperatures during the summer season. In the set-up, we see a young boy Igshaan (Shanie) Moos, the protagonist, with his humble parents. His hardworking father Harry Moos and his mother Liza who is struggling to recover from a severe stroke. Shanie is a bright young boy who in the first term at his new school, shows great potential in his schoolwork and becomes his teacher’s favorite scholar. While he is missing his old school and his friends back in the Great Karoo, he is struggling to settle into his new environment, and the fear of losing his sick mother. But this is not his only challenge he has to face in this hot Klein Karoo town. He soon becomes the victim of a school bully, the antagonist Jan (ou-Jan) January, but decides to keep quiet about the abuse at school, in fear of upsetting his sick mother. Hoping the abuse will eventually stop, but instead it becomes worse. He later must come up with different excuses, for the bruises on his body. When ou-Jan’s little brother drowns in the channel near their informal settlement where they live with their alcoholic parents, there seems to be a visible change in ou-Jan’s character. The constant abuse and robbing of Shanie’s lunch stop for a while. Just before the end of the first school term Shanie’s mother pass away after she was also diagnosed with lung cancer. He’s father then decide that it would be better for him to go back to their hometown in the great Karoo and stay with some of their relative’s. Shanie is excited about the prospects of going back home and see his old friends and his girlfriend soon after the exams. The day before the exams start’s, his teacher, mister Lategan summons him to his desk in front of the class. Mister Lategan, an old veteran suspects that ou-Jan is back into his old way’s and has forced Shanie to do his homework for him. Shanie denied it, but ou-Jan who was sitting at the back of the class, was under the wrong impression. That same day, Shanie stayed behind after school catching up on some schoolwork, ou-Jan was hiding in some of the empty open classes. Shanie was on his way home when ou-Jan dragged him into a class, beat him until he loses consciousness then rob him of his cellphone. Shanie regains consciousness in hospital but refuse to reveal the identity of his attacker. The investigating officers later suspect that Shanie is not very cooperative and that he is hiding something. They went to the school and question mister Lategan and learn that ou-Jan might be the suspect. Ou=Jan is arrested for attempted murder and robbery, after his immediate confession. Soon after his release under his parents, (who is now converted Christians}, supervision he committed suicide in one of the squatter camps portable toilets. Confronted later by mister Lategan about his denial regarding the abuse by ou-Jan. His respond is that he felt sorry for the state of poverty ou-Jan and his family was living in.
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