Thursday, 25 October 2007

Forgotten Afrikaners

Our executive producer, Lyndon Plant, has been in Joburg recently for the shoot. He writes to me from there and his email is below. Please comment on your thoughts regarding the names used to characterize the Benade family. We are interested in your feedback:

Dear Lisa,

I had my laptop stolen in London and did not have backups of my photographs so I am afraid I cannot help any further with photographs.
[I had asked him for another one of his beautiful photos to submit to the Beautiful Africa Blog Carnival.]

On a different point, I would like to sound you out about our description of the Benades as white trash. Whilst I accept that white trash is an understood genre (especially in the States), I don't think that it describes the movie's characters well.

In particular, Treppie's intelligence and obsession with science and philosophy, Treppie's disdain for incest, Treppie's and Lambert's 'affinity' to Cleo, Lambert's friendship with Sonnie et al indicate that a different description by us would be appropriate.

I have discussed this matter with some of the actors who consider the use of the genre to be somewhat offensive, unfair and even misleading. I asked them about Afrikaner phrases that they would consider appropriate to describe the Benades or the people I have met in the community that we are filming. They came up with English words like "forgotten," "lost," "close-knit," "protective," "damaged," "deprived," "Afrikaaner underdogs," et al.

I personally like the sound and meaning of "Forgotten Afrikaners" but I would be interested to find out how our internet community who have read the book (and perhaps the author of the book) would describe the Benade family and their community collectively.

Alex has been ill and I returned to Joburg yesterday afternoon from a week's break in Harare. In brief, the weather held out for us [for the filming], although the temperature drop in the evening had Vanessa asking whether she could do the outside burial scene early Thursday evening instead of late Wednesday evening, as she was shivering from the cold.

I returned to the set with stories of a Jan Hofmeyr resident who chased and attacked a crew member and was subsequently picked up by the police in connection with other crime(s), an expensive light blowing, a generator breaking down, the volksie catching fire due to an auto electrical fault and a neighbor who is irate after being woken at 5am by the catering team setting up for breakfast and by the number of crew and cast vehicles parked on an adjacent residential road.

Its time for a cup of strong coffee!


In my research about Triomf, Sophiatown, apartheid and the 1994 first Democratic vote, I get a sense that the human beings referred to as "the poor whites problem," have been first set up and then abandoned by their government. I am not an expert, and invite your comments.


Jeff said...

Very excited about the movie. Saw some clips. I don't think you need to be PC about it though. The movie is clearly about dumb japie trash. I mean, if there is one group of people who deserve a movie like this, it's bloody rockspiders. We know how badly they want to deny their true nature, but in this movie all will be laid bare. I laughed my ass off when I sam the clips. However, your super sensitive blog entries I find prrretty confusing.

totoro said...

In the book, the Benades come from people who worked on the railways... it was a while ago when I read it, but I think there was a reference to Afrikaaners displaced and made landless by the Anglo-Boer war, Great Depression and so on.