To make matters worse, Kuhn has chosen to pad Ouma Se Slim Kind with mushy sentimentality. In fact the entire film has been built around the phrase “Ag, shame!”
Oh, look at the “special” little child who speaks only in the third person: “Kareltjie is lief vir Ouma.” Ag, shame! Look at the little pig that follows him around. Her name is Poppie. Ag, shame! And look at his noble black friend who wants to protect him. Ag, shame!
And by the time they’ve added a weepy score and some equally mushy dialogue, you’re literally swimming in syrup. Sentiment can be very powerful when it earns its place in the viewers’ hearts, but Ouma Se Slim Kind paws at us so clumsily that it’s hard not to get annoyed. Yes, oumas are kind and bullies are mean, we get the point. Now please stop battering us with it.
The final nail in the film’s coffin is the ludicrously sensationalist ending. Any film that requires characters to act in complete contradiction of its own setting and logic is throwing away its credibility. In this case the villain of this piece, played with great intensity but little skill by Hykie Berg, is made to perform the most unlikely acts of violence. Why? Because it suits the plot.
There would be few things more welcome in our local film industry than the rebirth of Afrikaans cinema. The last thing we want to do is bow to the relentless Americanisation of our culture and forget our rich heritage. And you have to hand it to Kuhn and his collaborators – at least they are out there and working. Unfortunately, all the good intentions in the world don’t make Ouma Se Slim Kind is any less of a sentimental train wreck.
- Alistair Fairweather
Afrikaans filmmaking has a future - but that future is not in over-produced, sentimental claptrap like Ouma Se Slim Kind.
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