Kalahari horse whisperer

2009-04-10 00:00

ESTELLE SINKINS

A TRUE story of patience, endurance and passion is how film director Regardt van den Bergh describes his latest film, Tornado, which opens at NuMetro Cascades this weekend.

Van den Berg explaines that the story is about “a broken person and a broken horse that go through a process and get healed in the desert through the love and compassion and the understanding of a special person that lives in the Kalahari desert.”

Quentin Krog plays Pierre, a young man who is physically and emotionally crippled when his passion for running is stifled by rheumatism. Plagued by insecurity and depression, he turns to self-mutilation.

Then he meets Tornado, an Arab horse who was pushed too hard to become a show horse, developed self-mutilation syndrome, and became a danger to himself and others. Sterility, brought on by stress, also made him worthless as a breeding stallion.

These two damaged souls then encounter Barrie Burger (Danny Keogh), the Kalahari horse whisperer, and with his help begin the journey to recovery.

Burger, who started Kalahari Missions in 1985, after a vivid dream which he says outlined his God-given calling and destiny, has used horses to reach far-flung communities in the desert, and over the years learned to understand and communicate with these intelligent creatures.

Van den Bergh, who also directed Faith Like Potatoes, said he first heard about the story when he was approached by his friend, Peter Lamberti, who asked him to look at the story for an Animal Planet documentary. “He wanted me to read it and to see if it would make an interesting film. I was captivated by the story and the challenge of this unconventional relationship [between a man and a horse],” the director added.

The desert provided a challenge for Van den Bergh, who said: “We were shooting in the Kalahari in the middle of winter and three quarters of the crew were in tents, so it wasn’t easy. But it was a short shoot, so that made the challenges less difficult. It was hard work but a lot of fun.”

new movies: Two action films and one preview

Two action films — The Fast and The Furious and Dragonball Evolution — open at CineCentre today.

In The Fast and The Furious Vin Diesel reprises his role as ex-con Dominic Toretto who is forced to join forces with his arch foe, agent Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) to confront a sociopathic drug kingpin.

Dragonball: Evolution is a live-action version of the animated series of the same name and stars Justin Chatwin as the hero, Goku, and James Masters as Lord Piccolo, the villain of the piece.

CineCentre has a treat in store for fans of High School Musical star Zac Efron — his new film 17 Again is being screened for one day only on April 12.

Efron plays Mike O’Donnell, a guy whose life didn’t quite turn out how he wanted it to and wishes he could go back to high school and change it. Then he wakes up one day and is 17 again.

Still on circuit

• CineCentre: Monsters vs Aliens, 12 Rounds, Race to Witch Mountain, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Marley & Me, Confessions of a Shopaholic.

• SterKinekor: Monsters vs Aliens, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Friday the 13th, Watchmen, New in Town, Notorious, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

• NuMetro: Monsters vs Aliens, Finding Lenny, Seven Pounds, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

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