WATCH: 'The Story of Racheltjie de Beer' in SA cinemas this October

The Story of Racheltjie de Beer. (Screengrab: YouTube/Indigenous Film Distribution)
The Story of Racheltjie de Beer. (Screengrab: YouTube/Indigenous Film Distribution)

Cape Town - The much-anticipated Afrikaans film, The Story of Racheltjie de Beer is due to release in South African cinemas in October this year.

The film is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by writer and filmmaker Brett Michael Innes and tells the fabled story of Afrikaans family, the De Beers, who are forced to find shelter on a local farm in the Eastern Free State of South Africa in the 1800s.

As winter arrives, and dark clouds laden with snow start to roll in over the Drakensberg Mountains, the scene is set for tragedy to strike.


"Known as an Afrikaans tale for all South Africans, the film is inspired by the cherished tale, passed down from generation to generation, of female folk hero Racheltjie de Beer," says Innes.

"When they became separated from the rest of their party, the young girl gave her life to save that of her little brother, making her mark on history as a youthful hero."

"To accommodate the heroic emotional and visual nature of the story, we captured it in a cinematic style tailored for a big screen experience," says director Matthys Boshoff.


The film was shot on location on the farm Tierhoek, in the rugged Eastern Free State. The filmmakers sought out a location that would express the harsh reality of living on a remote, isolated farm in the 1800s.

"We did not want to unnecessarily romanticise the period, but we were determined to find a setting that possessed a poetic quality worthy of the story," Boshoff adds.


There are more than 220 visual effects in the film, according to Boshoff: "We wanted to attribute human characteristics and moods to the weather, and the storm in particular. For that reason, we didn’t just replace clear skies with stock images of clouds; instead we built our own cloud systems that could be manipulated and moved around as we chose. This allowed us to give the storm a personality, to let it turn darker, move faster, threaten the landscape with lightning."


The stellar cast features Stian Bam, Zonika De Vries, Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo, Antoinette Louw, and Beate Opperman. Starring in his first film role will be Johannes Jordaan in the role of Racheltjie’s little brother.

"The legend of Racheltjie de Beer is a tale for all time and many South Africans consider it part of their heritage," says Helen Kuun, MD of Indigenous Film Distribution. "We are thrilled to be involved in bringing her story to life on the big screen for loyal fans and younger contemporary audiences alike."

Matthys Boshoff

(ON SET: Director Matthys Boshoff on set of The Story of Racheltjie de Beer. Photo: Supplied)

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