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Fokofpolisiekar: Forgive Them for They Know Not What They Do

2009-10-27 11:38
 

What it's about:


The story of Fokofpolisiekar, the band that changed the meaning of Afrikaans music for a generation.

What we thought:

Well, someone confused a slogan for a title, didn’t they? Fokofpolisiekar: Forgive Them for They Know Not What They Do is a pretentious name that will now be tacked on to a musical phenomenon that, for many critics, has become a bit too enamoured with itself.

Here, as with the recent music doccie 12 Mile Stone, the filmmakers would do well to remember that not all talking heads were born equal. Forgive Them... features some very disposable analysis from an assortment nightclub owners, fellow musos and friends of the band. Few of them are equipped to unpack a complex social phenomenon in easy soundbites and few of them are cut out to be on camera at all. But it’s a small nuisance.

For fans of the band, Forgive Them... offers the chance to relive a story that seemed to unfold so rapidly that it’s easy to forget the impact it has had on Afrikaner youth. It is the story of how an ordinary band grew into a fantastically successful band, a cultural phenomenon, and how it eventually came to terms with itself.

Whether by foresight, or vanity, or a good sense of fun, the band trucked on in their early career with the cameras always turned on. It’s astounding what’s been captured and what we get to see: their first gig, their first recording sessions, Wynand’s admission that they had to sell some special "merchandise" to make ends meet on the road. For rock 'n roll voyeurs, it’s priceless viewing.

Of course, the soundtrack is provided by Belville’s prodigal sons themselves. Thanks to snappy editing and some great animated photo slides, Forgive Them... can be enjoyed as a feature-length music video. This raises an important point. If you like the music, if Fokofpolisiekar’s bold, unintended reconstruction of Afrikaans identity has meant anything to you, you’ll enjoy this documentary - whether for the music, the inside references or just the laughs. I suspect outsiders will not be as easily convinced.

The documentary shies away from the personal darkness from which much of the band’s early art gained its power, choosing instead to talk up their collective boredom with Afrikaans culture, their love/hate relationship with the suburbs and other group narratives. There is a much bigger story to genial lyricist Hunter Kennedy, to the self-destructive Francois Van Coke, there just has to be, but in the arts community perhaps no one is willing to tell it. In truth, every person on God’s green Earth is interesting enough to be made into a movie, but then you have to put everything on the line.

Forgive Them... is not revelatory, but it is a landmark. If a nihilistic, blaspheming crew of Afrikaners can conquer the local zeitgeist so completely, so utterly as to be the cause of a film, then truly this Rainbow Nation is a land of opportunity.


The Fokofpolisiekar movie is great fan service, but if you still don’t know what the fuss is about, just go see them live.

NEXT ON CHANNEL24X

A Most Wanted Man

2014-10-16 23:29

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(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
Fan 8/22/2009 11:31 AM
Is this a review?
goda 10/23/2009 12:50 PM
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Brilliant article. Sums up a lot of stuff I feel about them, and although I'm NOT really a fan, makes me dead keen to see the film for what it means to society as a whole.
suig 10/26/2009 8:30 AM
Die klomp torre suig. hulle maak afrikaners se naam sleg.
suig 10/26/2009 8:34 AM
Die klomp torre suig. hulle maak afrikaners se naam sleg.
Selwyn 10/26/2009 8:44 AM
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What a load of crap, namely the name of the band which i believe in todays standards should be banned. Secondly calling yourselves "Trots afrikaans", you have an inferior complexs when it comes to your "Suiwer" language which incidentally is full of english words. How can you be proud when you guys use tems like "Cool, stunning", and many other english words. I am not against afrikaans as i had 5 yrs in a billingual school and married an afrikaans "bokkie". You are holding onto something that is already there. Just be yourselves and stop trying to tell the world about your "trotse taal and suiwer afrikaans and al that rubbish.
Nog suig 10/26/2009 8:52 AM
Francois se Pa is 'n predikant,en hy is 'n klein etter.Hulle almal suig,en as ek hulle klomp raakloop,wil ek hul groet met 'n paar taai klappe.
Lilian 10/26/2009 9:17 AM
i love you Niel!
G*d Verdoem 10/26/2009 9:53 AM
Goeie film, veral vir die aanhangers. Dis koel om te sien hoe dinge geloop het en waar alles begin het.
nog suig...GAAN SUIG! 10/26/2009 11:55 AM
Nog suig 10/26/2009 8:52 AM: Nadat jy jou taai klappies uit gedeel het kan jy sondag kerk toe gaan en vir Francois se pa vra om jou te vergewe. Hypocrite!!!! Great movie ouens!
Chantell 10/26/2009 1:03 PM
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Die movie was fantasties!!!! Fokof ROCK!!!!
gert 10/26/2009 2:47 PM
"Trots Afrikaans"? My gat, 'n Trots pot snot.
Netpapet 10/26/2009 8:27 PM
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What makes them Trots Afrikaans"? - they are a lot of looses de lux - riding on the ole Afrikaans Trots - shame on you guys
Terminator 10/27/2009 1:21 PM
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Weather you choose to acknowledge it or not, they changed the face of South African music, in a time when 'trots afrikaans' was sokkie and rugby. they are the voice of the new, post-apartheid generation, and its no wonder that the youth can identify with them. let me tell you, sokkie fans, that these guys have more talent that any plaas manne could even BEGIN to comprehend.. they actually had the GUTS to say what they feel and sing about it.. and perhaps you refuse to actually see that a lot of Afrikaans people use English slang - listen to your kids more and you will know.. just because they dont dress in rugby shorts and go watch rugby every weekend, does not make them less Afrikaans - just because they have long hair and DARE to sing about things that the dicontent youth in South African FEELS, does not make them bad. Start opening your minds, people, or go stay in the plaas - we the youth dont need ignorant idiots like you
@terminator 10/27/2009 3:44 PM
Hy ore. lyk my jy is 'n ou moffie wat seker bietjie geboelie was.
somebody 10/30/2009 10:40 AM
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the article is very narrow minded. you can tell you just hate the band. if you are a journalist, yous should be completley objective. and selwyn, you shouldn't tell other people what to feel, its a free country! movie is INSANE and EVERY South African should watch it - especially the parents, you might understand your kids better after you watch this movie
peter 11/26/2009 6:17 AM
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What a band. The only thing wrong with south africa is the afrikaans people who are into wifebeaters,popped collars and sokkie and the english people who call afrikaans people dutchies. That is all.
finger with your name on it! 12/21/2009 3:07 PM
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Today’s standerds.NICE.....have you taken a look at our up to standard country! Grow up. Hay is SA music. If you are too scared to face watt they say don't listen and crawl back into you dark hole called ignoranc.thay are living a dream (watt have you done with your life). I can bet you have a cd of jurie els or moffi daren! If not then you dance on broken down dish washer music! FOKOFPOLISIEKAR is rock and roll and i hate the 5 0
numbe1fpkfan 1/14/2010 4:39 PM
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Sonder fokofpolisiekar sou da nie u sa musiek gewees het nie! ek dink die ouens is u klomp mal, brawe etters!!! hule het vir sa gewys wat musiek beteken! musiek hoef nie kurt darren se loslappie wees met geen betekenis nie. fokofpolisiekar is rebels en hule musiek beteken bje...daar is u sin daarin en dit rock!! suig jy weti waarvan jy prati...hule sa se naam hoog...gan suig jou eie tril suig! fokofpoisiekar is ouens wat nie bang darvoor is om hule gevoelens uit te bring en vastestaan in wat hule glo nie!!! so gan suigit! hule is trots afrikaans wat hule staan vas in wat hule glo!!
Teologie student 4/23/2010 10:26 PM
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Hey Karre! Het van julle eerste gigs met groot verwondering aanskou back in the day, toe julle een aand in wellington perform het, dit was goud! Controrary to the norm vind ek julle musiek stimulerend vanuit 'n christen perspektief! Het sopas die documentary gekyk, baie cool! as Jaco ooit besluit om sy arm te breuk sal ek met liefde instaan! chz
Christo 11/17/2011 10:48 AM
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Ek moet saamstem met die resensent. Wat analise betref is die dokumentêr maar swak. Fokofpolisiekar neem hulself heeltemal te ernstig op as jy my vra.
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