2017-02-24 08:41

What it's about:

A sassy twenty-year-old prostitute on the streets of Cape Town is hooked on painkillers to dull the pain of her grim existence. Her life is turned upside-down when she falls pregnant. Despite her wry sense of humour, she is tormented by her past and starts to question her own sanity. Fragile as she is, her fighting spirit awakens as she attempts to confront her demons and seek her truth.

What we thought:

In the opening scenes of the film we meet  20-year-old Tess. A sex worker from Muizenberg whose life is ripped apart by drug-addition, domestic violence and rape.

While standing on the broken-down corners of Muizenberg, waiting to be picked up, Tess experiences countless misogynist slurs and threats to her life. 

To deal with her unsavoury clients Tess becomes depended on over the counter pain tablets, that she chugs with a can of Coke before immersing herself in a bath tub. Until she eventually rewrites her story and says, "No, more!" 

It is here that we are first introduced to Tess' muddled-up childhood memories. 

Trying to contain all the chaos that surrounds her, Tess tries desperately to maintain routine in her life. Like religiously ironing her underwear every morning. 

Tess takes on a deeply personal journey of a defeated woman who undergoes a significant change in consciousness when she is faced with the reality of an unwanted pregnancy. 

The crisp and raw imagery gives us a look into the rough parts of Muizenberg as well as the picturesque views of the seaside. 

But just like Tess' twisted reality, the cinematography is abrupt and moves quickly.  And we never stay too long in just one moment. 

We live in a country where women have to contend with an extremely high rate of rape and domestic violence.  Sex workers are often marginalised, face discriminations, beatings, rape and harassment on a daily basis. 

Tess overcomes these adversities and becomes a symbol of strength too those who have been forced to live in the outskirts of society. 

Making the story of Tess an even more important one to tell.

This is not the type of movie you see if you are in the mood for a casual watch. There are some seriously explicit scenes including rape, drug use and domestic violence. 

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