Two glorious films at Diff

2010-07-26 14:58

Seeing a great film – made with intelligence and feeling – is a magical thing. Seeing two in one day is sublime.

At the Durban International Film Festival (Diff) on last night I saw The Incredible Adventures of Hanna Hoekom by Regardt van den Bergh. I followed that up with the premiere of Haitian director Raoul Peck’s Moloch Tropical.

With A Small Town Called Descent, which stars Hlubi Mboya, turning out to be a complete flop by all accounts, it was reaffirming to see two great films – one of them South African.

The Incredible Adventures of Hanna Hoekom is a rich coming of age story about a teenage girl getting to grips with her oddball family with a lot of help from her fecund imagination.

Using state-of-the-art animation techniques, saturated colour, the glorious wilderness around Knysna and a fine, funny cast of actors – some well-seasoned, others new to the screen – the film is likely to steal the box-office when it opens on the circuit in mid-August.

Peck, who previously made the critically acclaimed Lumumba and Sometimes in April, continues his unflinching look at political power structures, their inherent corruption and the complicity of every person in that corruption.

Moloch Tropical is filmed exclusively in a citadel on a mountain in Haiti, yet the canvas of ideas and issues is vast beyond measure. It follows the Haitian president, on his birthday, as he watches his people turn on him. It is however the exploration of the power structure around him that makes this riveting viewing.

In the question session after the screening of the film, Peck explained that the film is not about a dictator, rather it is about just about every democratically elected leader in the world. It’s about how democracy has been subverted and that we are all to blame in some small part.

If you are in Durban this week you can still catch Moloch Tropical at Suncoast Casino tomorrow at 8pm. The Incredible Adventures of Hanna Hoekom opens in South Africa on Friday August 13

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