First look at local 'Poppie Nongena' film

2019-07-20 14:00
Clementine Mosimane in Poppie Nongena.

Cape Town - The legacy film, Poppie Nongena, based on the award-winning novel by Elsa Joubert releases in cinemas nationwide on 30 January 2020.

The novel, The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena, is regarded as one of the best African books of the twentieth century.

Clementine Mosimane (The Wild) plays the role of Poppie, alongside Anna-Mart van der Merwe (Kanarie), veterans Chris Gxalaba (Long Walk to Freedom), Rolanda Marais (Binnelanders), David Minaar (Torings) and Lida Botha (Pad Na Jou Hart). 

Nomsa Nene, who played the title role to rave reviews in the international theatre production of Poppie, plays Poppie’s mother. (Read the New York Times review 

The drama tells the story of a South African isiXhosa mother, whose life revolves around finding stability for her family during a period of insufferable upheaval in the country when African women were forced, by arrests, fines and forced removal, to leave their homes and resettle in remote areas designated as black homelands. When her husband, Stone, became too ill to work, Poppie was deemed by the law to be an “illegal” resident in her own country. She engaged in a desperate struggle with the authorities for permission to stay, moving from house to house, applying for permits, applying for extensions, extensions of extensions, and using every means at her disposal to remain with her children.

Caught in the crossfire of her children’s needs, her husband’s illness, community anger and repressive laws, she was finally forced to give in just as the 1976 riots for freedom erupted.

Award-winning screenwriter and playwright Christiaan Olwagen directed the film with Vicci Turpin as the cinematographer. Olwagen’s previous work includes the critically acclaimed films, Johnny is Nie Dood Nie, Die Seemeeu and Kanarie

The film’s view point is deeply personal. “Although it deals with a life of struggle, it is filled with humour, hope, tenderness and entertaining insights, which open a window on a time in history that we can all learn from,” says producer Helena Spring.

“Poppie’s deeply personal experiences, her profound love story with her husband, her love for her children and her formidable inner courage will inspire young and old, as she draws meaning and purpose from the most difficult moments of her life” she concluded.


Clementine Mosimane and Anna-Mart van der Merwe in

Clementine Mosimane and Nomsa Nene in Poppie Nonge

Clementine Mosimane and Chris Gxalaba in Poppie No

Clementine Mosimane and Rolanda Marais in Poppie N

(Photos: Melanie Cleary)

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