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Roepman

2011-05-20 16:50
 
What it's about:

Roepman tells the story of a 1966 railway community told through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy called Timus (Paul Loots). Timus and his family are trapped within the structural violence caused by the government and the church at the time. An unlikely hero, Joon (John-Henry Opperman) often appears to save Timus when he's in trouble. These acts of kindness are seen by Timus as miracles. Timus tells the story of Joon, his own coming of age and loss of innocence, and how Joon tries to give a little of that lost innocence back to Timus.

What we thought:


From the get-go Roepman makes you feel like a child again, especially the growing up part... remember that? Let me refresh your memory: it's exciting and familiar, but at the same time uncomfortable and awkward. It's feeling everything at once... love, hate, joy, sadness... which led me to the conclusion that Roepman is essentially a story about life.

Based on the Jan van Tonder novel which was released in the late 1990's, Roepman tells the tale about innocence and how once lost, it can never be found again. Directed by veteran actor Paul Eilers we see a railway community – its people and its troubles – through the eyes of curious, absorbing young Timus, who is absolutely fascinated with the world around him. A free spirit, he watches everyone and everything like a hawk in his quest to "piepie skuim" (urinate foam), or rather, to become a man.

Set against the backdrop of the Apartheid regime where the white God-fearing father, together with the church, ruled the household, Roepman tells a tale of inner struggle, maturity, forgiveness, and in the end coming together.

A diverse cast consisting of newcomers and veteran actors make the film believable. Loots gives a compelling performance as the young Timus; Klopjag frontman John-Henry Opperman is mesmerising as 'stargazer' Joon who serves as the local wake-up call, and Deon Lotz is frightening yet vulnerable as Timus's dad. And definitely worth a mention is Andrew Thompson who will no longer be remembered only for his slapstick performances in Bakgat and Superhelde.

Produced by father and son Piet and Sallas de Jager with music written by brother Dawie de Jager, Roepman is a true family passion project which comes together like a good band practice.
 
Watching the trailer alone was a tearjerking experience. Roepman is 115 minutes where you'll be able to shut off from the rest of the world and be transported to long-lost forgotten world. Whether you were there or only heard of it through tales told by elders, it's a journey that's well worth it.


A beautiful, sensitive adaptation of Jan van Tonder's acclaimed novel about a young boy's coming of age in a railway community during Apartheid South Africa.

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(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
Henk Havenga 2011-05-17 08:33 AM
SA can make movies of international standard! The movie has the feel and understated intensity of the best of the classical European art movies. What an experience! 5 star entertainment.
ARNOLD MULLER 2011-05-23 10:33 AM
Fantastic...something to be proud of
JK 2011-05-24 01:23 PM
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Wonderful film. Not something I would usually watch - you can never be sure with Afrikaans films but went on a friend's recommendation and was very touched by the story. might check out the book as well.
doug hendry 2011-05-25 05:11 PM
It will never be released outside SA, so we have no hope of seeing it on the big screen. (we live in Oxfordshire) Will it be available over here in the UK on DVD? Even I, a rooinek, would like to see it.
Lorinda Theart 2011-05-26 02:42 PM
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Ek's 'n kunsfilm-verslaafde en ROEPMAN kan kers vashou met die bestes van oor die wereld. Dis 'n aangrypende storie wat elke mens behoort te hoor/sien. Doen jouself 'n guns en gaan kyk hierdie meesterstuk wat so trots Suid-Afrikaans is. Gaan kyk dit en vertel almal HOEVEEL jy dit geniet het!
grant aubin 2011-08-26 08:58 AM
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What an excellent and enjoyable film. It is quite possibly the best South African movie I have ever seen. And it is certainly the best Afrikaans film I have seen. | "Roepman" tells a wonderful, funny, touching, beautifully scripted story. The performances are marvelous, and the period atmosphere and details are perfectly realised. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is certainly one of the viewing highlights of the last couple of months for me. I was born in 1960 so I was only a kid when Hendrik Verwoud was killed and the events in the story took place, but I can still remember hearing about it. I am hardly nostagic for the days of grand apartheid in South Africa, but the film certainly evokes a sense of nostalgia for my childhood. Not that I had this sort of upbringing, but these characters were people I could relate to. "Roepman" knocked my socks. Not in my wildest dreams did I expect a film of this quality. I watched it early yesterday morning, and I am still thinking about it. It's that good. A real gem.
LR 2012-09-28 09:58 AM
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It was one of the better South African Movies I have seen in a long time. It gets to the depth of some characters, e.g. Ouma, and Timus' parents, but at the same time some of the other characters are only superficially explored. Some parts of the film feel like loosely edited incoherent bits and pieces, which don't add anything to the narrative. The importance of Joon could have been played up more, however, he only occasionally makes an appearance and even these appearances seem a bit contrived. Having said that, the movie is visually. musically and conceptually on par with the best European art movies, so it was quite enjoyable.
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