On the big screen

2017-01-31 09:04
Phumlani Taulela, Malebo Manamela, Bathoni Robinson, Ellen Pakkies, Lorraine Booth and Ebrahim Ismail will be working together on the movie Die Ellen Pakkies Storie, which is being shot in Lavender Hill. They are calling on residents to work with them.

Phumlani Taulela, Malebo Manamela, Bathoni Robinson, Ellen Pakkies, Lorraine Booth and Ebrahim Ismail will be working together on the movie Die Ellen Pakkies Storie, which is being shot in Lavender Hill. They are calling on residents to work with them. (TIYESE JERANJI)

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The story of Ellen Pakkies, a mother from Lavender Hill who strangled her drug-addicted son, has been told several times. Now you will be able to see it in a movie as she details her journey to help other people who are going through the same thing she experienced.

The director of Noem my Skollie, Daryne Joshua, and the Moving Billboard Picture Company – together with the community of Lavender Hill – will be detailing the story in a movie called Die Ellen Pakkies Storie, which they started shooting yesterday.

The script is written by Amy Jephta and produced by Schalk Burger. It is set in Lavender Hill, Steenberg and in Muizenberg.

The production company is making a call to the residents of Lavender Hill to work with it as this will benefit their community as well.

Production manager Malebo Manamela says they are also asking the people of Lavender Hill not to be alarmed.

“We are using people in the area. We will be in Lavender Hill for three weeks. This is for the benefit of the community and we want to tell the story from how they see it and how it affected their lives and how they are still affected by substance abuse.”

Manamela adds this is not just a story about Pakkies but a joint effort to help all communities that are affected by drug abuse.

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“We are bringing this to Lavender Hill to hear from the community their side of the story. We want to know their struggles and, as we tell aunty Ellen’s story, we find ways of helping the community. Our aim is to start a dialogue on substance abuse and how we can get help. The problem of drug abuse affects everyone in one way or another so we must find a solution together,” she says.
The movie will detail everything that Pakkies did. The bulk of the film is set from 2007 to 2009.
“We will be following every event to come with a captivating movie and to help the communities. If she went to the police station for help, if she went to the pastor, if she had quiet times – we want to bring all that up to show that there is hope.”

Pakkies, now 55, says she is hopeful that the movie will help people, especially mothers who are going through what she experienced.

The mother of three has learnt to find peace with what she did but says her story should help other people as well.

“Mothers are troubled by their sons but they are too afraid to speak out because they don’t want to be judged,” says Pakkies.

“There isn’t so much help for people that go through what I went through. There is no way that someone can get over a drug problem in three to six months, no. A lot needs to be done and the person needs to be supported.”

They are hoping to release the movie early next year and take it to festivals and on road shows. It will be shown in cinemas next year and thereafter released on DVD, VOD, pay TV and free-to-air TV in South Africa, then worldwide.

Die Ellen Pakkies Storie is supported by M-Net and the department of trade and industry.

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