Archive for the ‘Craig Freimond’ Category

Strength and Determination

Beyond the River

Director: Craig Freimond

Cast: Lemogang Tsipa, Grant Swanby, Garth Breytenbach, Ben Voss, Paul du Toit, Emily Child, Israel Makoe, Kgosi Mongake

It’s comforting to watch a really well made and engrossing South African film. Director Craig Freimond’s sports drama Beyond the River focuses on two men from vastly different socio-economic backgrounds who come together and team up to do the gruelling Dusi Canoe marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, a distance of 120 kilometres which takes place annually in February.

Audiences first glimpse Duma an athletic young man as he is persuaded to do cable theft in the township near where he lives in Soweto. His poverty-stricken background clearly inhabits Duma from reaching his full potential and his risk of being sucked into a life of crime is narrowly avoided when he escapes being caught by the police. His one-time canoeing coach Oupa played by Israel Makoe (Tsosti, The First Grader) encourages Duma to take up canoeing again, where discipline and sportsmanship are required.

In a different social spectrum is Steve Andrews brilliantly played by Grant Swanby, a determined man desperate to complete the Dusi canoe marathon yet his first attempt is scuppered when his canoe snaps in half and he literally runs to the finish line at the mouth of the Umgeni River in Durban.

Director Freimond does not shy away from the complex issue of racial inequalities and emphasizes that sportsmanship is the way to achieve one’s goals in a post-apartheid South Africa continually beset with socio-economic problems. Freimond does not dwell on divisive politics, yet wisely focuses on an uplifting story of how Duma and Steve form a sport man’s bond as they team up to train and compete in the Dusi canoe marathon.

The emotional crux of the story comes when both men let each other into their lives and gain a better perspective of where each man is coming from and what past occurrences have haunted their lives.

Duma, wonderfully played by Lemogang Tsipa who maintains a powerful screen presence, is battling to deal with the loss of his bread-winning mother and has to contend with his overbearing father and younger sister who is battling to be educated in a poverty-stricken environment.

Steve’s marriage to Annie played by Emily Child is on the verge of collapse as he battles to come to terms with the loss of their only son through a freak car accident. Eventually Steve and Duma both confide in each other in order to make their partnership stronger.

Beyond the River is a riveting tale of sportsmanship beautifully filmed in Gauteng and along the Msunduzi and Mgeni Rivers showcasing spectacular scenery in KwaZulu-Natal as the two men battle the raging rivers and eventually make it to Durban.

Through strength and determination both men manage to achieve their goal despite their apparent differences. Beyond the River also features some cameo’s by several South African actors including Ben Voss (Spud, 31 Million Reasons), Black Sails TV star Paul du Toit,  Garth Breytenbach (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom). Kgosi Mongake (Invictus, The Bang Bang Club) is particularly noteworthy as Duma’s rogue friend Zama who unfortunately succumbs to criminal influences.

As an inspirational sports film, Beyond the River is solidly acted and beautifully shot gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10. Highly recommended viewing especially for Dusi canoe enthusiasts.

Dusi Canoe Marathon – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dusi_Canoe_Marathon

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
October 2018
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
  • Actor Scott Wilson of ‘The Walking Dead’ Remembered at Memorial
    Scott Wilson, an acting veteran of half a century who was a high-profile member “The Walking Dead” cast, was remembered warmly at memorial ceremonies Saturday at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. Wilson died at the age of 76 after a battle with leukemia on Oct. 6. The premiere episode of the ninth season of “The Walking […]
    Dave McNary
  • Rome MIA: New Italian Cinema Standouts Comprise Female-Led Western ‘My Body Will Bury You’ (EXCLUSIVE)
    Four female Italian bandits known as “Le Drude” are the protagonists of “My Body Will Bury You” a Sicily-set revenge drama/Western set in 1860 that is among standout titles presented to prospective buyers and sales agents during the Rome MIA market’s What’s Next Italy showcase. This second feature by Alessandro La Parola, whose bittersweet comedy […]
    nvivarelli
  • Julio Medem’s ‘The Tree of Blood’ Picked up by FilmSharks Intl. (EXCLUSIVE)
    Starring “La casa de papel’s” Ursula Corberó, “The Tree of Blood,” the latest movie from Spain’s Julio Medem, is being brought onto the international market at Rome’s MIA market by FilmSharks Intl., which has acquired world sales rights. FilmSharks Intl. will continue introducing the film to buyers at the American Film Market, which opens Oct. […]
    John Hopewell
  • ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Stars on the Netflix Show’s Feminist Themes
    If she had to sum up her titular character in “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” star Kiernan Shipka would describe Sabrina Spellman as a “woke witch.” The series, which premieres Oct. 26 on Netflix, is a reimagining of the famous teen witch’s story that has overt feminist themes. On the show, Sabrina is a half-witch half-mortal […]
    Rachel Yang
  • Amazon’s Jennifer Salke Defends Broadcast, Touts Upcoming Projects
    Despite her recent career choices, Jennifer Salke is still a believer in broadcast. “I don’t think that it’s on its deathbed,” Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said at a USC summit. “I think it is evolving quickly. But I still believe, knowing the amount of people we were reaching at NBC, that there’s a huge […]
    Daniel Holloway
  • Article
    Over the past few years, several low-cost carriers have stepped up to offer competition and cheapest prices to customers looking to cut down their monthly bills. Tags: 2gmhass90