What it's about:
After his mother dies, 17-year-old Hendri (Armand Greyling) arrives at a retirement village to live with his grandpa. As soon as Hendri arrives, he is taken under the wing of an elderly neighbour Tannie Marietjie (Marga van Rooy), who not only feeds him but also makes him take regular baths at her house after purposely damaging the plumbing at his grandpa's house. As Hendri goes out for a sneaky cigarette one night, he follows silhouetted figures into a forest where he sees them diving into a mass of water with a windmill rising from its moonlit centre. It is in the forest that Hendri meets the young and beautiful Margot, and also the night that nothing is at it seems and everything changes.
What we thought:
Die Windpomp is what South African film has been waiting for. It's not just a fresh, beautifully told love story, but also a story about being human and dealing with human issues such as getting older, loneliness and exploring the wonder of youth.
Die Windpomp is a magical film providing escapism in its true sense. A never-seen-before film for SA audiences, writer and director Etienne Fourie provides a burst of colour and talent on screen that will make you forget your daily struggles. And let’s face it, what is a movie if not to escape into a magical, fictional world?
From the get-go Die Windpomp is captivating, reminiscent of the Oscar nominated French film Amélie with its amazing vivid and well thought out shots. The cinematography, by Johan Prinsloo, is exceptional and grabs you from the opening sequence of the film.
A well-chosen cast makes this film a pleasure to watch. Young newcomer Armand Greyling, who plays Hendri, is one of the most natural actors I've seen in a long time, effortlessly portraying his quirky character with imaginitive splendour. Leandie Du Randt is charming as Hendri's love interest and local ballet teacher Margot; veteran actress Marga Van Rooy is believable as happy but concerned Tannie Mariejite and when you throw Ian Roberts into the equation, it all just makes sense.
Most South African films of late has some sort of agenda, or is some sort of commentary on society, the world or the current political climate. Die Windpomp is neither of these nor does it deliver comment on anything other than life and being human.
For fear of giving too much away, I will leave you with this: whether you're a sister, brother, mom, dad, grandpa or grandma, this film will win you over and leave you relishing each and every relationship you have, have had and ever will have.