Film Review: Shirley Adams

By Drum Digital
04 August 2010

Rating 3/5

Drama. With Denise Newman, Emily Child and Keenan Arrison. Director: Oliver Hermanus. 10m. Opens 13 August.

What’s it about?

After a brutal gang attack a desperate mother on the Cape Flats tries to take care of her disabled son and protect him from the violence.

Who will enjoy it?

Gang violence has been wreaking havoc on communities on the Cape Flats for generations. This is one of the first films to address this issue and it makes no bones about the seriousness of the problem. Any reader who has been the victim of gang violence or been affected by it will be able to identify with this movie’s tough, direct message. It’s notawatered-down representation of the ugly truth, hidden behind a pretty story – it shows the situation as it really is. The cinematography is sometimes a bit self-conscious but Hermanus’ direction is sober and to the point. As an attempt to create awareness of gang violence and social and political conditions on the Flats, it’samust-see.

Wait for DVD?

If it’s not showing in a theatre near you. But if it is, take the whole family – everyone, including those from more privileged communities, should see what’s going on on the Cape Flats. Newman is exceptional asamother who’ll do anything for her son; she earns this film its third star. Recommended as a fine local movie.

Similar films

Once Were Warriors, Skin, Disgrace.

Popcorn fact

It’s director Oliver Hermanus’ first feature film.

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