A scene in Raaiselkind. (NuMetro)
A scene in Raaiselkind. (NuMetro)

What it's about:

A nine year old autistic boy is found dead in the bath tub. His mother, Ingrid, who spent her life caring for him and loved him dearly, is being investigated for murder.

What we thought:

When we first meet Ingrid (Diaan Lawrenson) she is escorted into a police vehicle in front of her home.

We see flashing images of blood stained walls, water dripping on the ground and the disconcerted mother being handcuffed by a considerate police officer.

We learn that Ingrid’s autistic son, Alexander (Ian Roelofs), had drowned in the bathtub, and she is the prime suspect.

Through a series of flashbacks from the interrogation room, we learn more about Ingrid’s family, and how they dealt with Alexander’s disability, the impact his behaviour had on the family, and the people who loved and cared for him.

And as the story unfolds, the suspect pool grows.

Diaan Lawrenson delivers a convincing and solid performance as the traumatised, burned-out and frazzled mother.

Visual and aural repetition is used throughout the movie to stress Ingrid and her husband Dawid’s (Neels Claasen) constant and growing frustration dealing with their son’s disability.

With majority of the movie taking place at the seaside, the rhythmic and recurring crashing of the waves, and a baby’s monotonous screams and cries, perfectly capture the family’s exasperation, as it slowly escalates into madness.

Raaiselkind explores the dynamics between husband and wife, parents and children and siblings when a family is faced with a situation they have no control over. Can they come together and unite as a family, or will this be the thing that breaks them?

The cinematography is the movie is spectacular, capturing the beautiful seascapes. Furthermore, the contrast of light and dark, when showcasing Ingrid’s current gloomy situation, with days gone by is striking.

Another key character in the movie is Alexander’s caretaker Miriam (June van Merch). When times are tough, and Alexander’s disorder is creating chaos at home, Miriam steps in. She is one of the only people that Alexander feels close to.

June van Merch delivers an excellent performance as the compassionate, loving and patient caretaker – And later, Ingrid’s only friend.

The relationship between a white employer and coloured employee is another sub-plot that is explored in the movie, and one that is executed tastefully.

Raaiselkind takes you on an emotional roller-coaster, you feel the family’s frustration, you empathise with their situation and you fall in love with Alexander.

The movie has plenty of plot-twists and sub-plots to keep you engaged and captivated. Definitely for a more mature audience and keep those tissues close by!

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