Archive for the ‘Johannes Ferdinand Van Zyl’ Category

On The Border

The Recce

Director: Johannes Ferdinand van Zyl

Cast: Greg Kriek, Christia Visser, Marius Weyers, Grant Swanby, Albert Maritz, Elsabe Daneel, Maurice Carpede

Set in 1981 in Angola and Apartheid South Africa, The Recce seen at the film’s premiere at the Durban International Film Festival (insert website) DIFF 2018, director Johannes Ferdinand van Zyl combines some stylistic flourishes to create a vivid and tense depiction of the experiences of the films main hero Henk Viljoen a Recce who is caught behind enemy lines and presumed Killed In Action.

South African star Greg Kriek brilliantly plays Henk who leaves his pregnant wife Nicola played by Christia Visser behind as he ventures forth deep within enemy territory, behind the Angolan border in a treacherous guerrilla war which claimed many lives and was a clandestine Southern African war of attrition fought by the Apartheid South African government far north in the then Soviet infiltrated Angola, just above Namibia which was then known as South West Africa.

With the dialogue mainly in Afrikaans, The Recce is a brave portrayal of a soldier’s desire to survive in an increasingly cruel and hostile landscape where no one can be trusted.

Grant Swanby (Beyond the River) plays Henk’s English speaking corporal Corporal Le Roux, who realizes that they are all fighting a pointless war in brutal terrain. Also featured in the cast are well known South African stage and screen actor Marius Weyers (Blood Diamond, Gandhi) as the hard-drinking General Piet Visagie and Maurice Carpede as Impi Buthelezi.

Watching The Recce is like watching the Afrikaans version of Peter Berg’s nail biting military drama Lone Survivor and those that enjoy a well-orchestrated war film should see this South African film depicting a distinct period in this country’s history which left an indelible mark on the South African older white male psyche particularly those that were military active in the early 1980’s prior to the transition to democracy in 1994.

Despite some tangential scenes in the film’s first half, director Johannes Ferdinand van Zyl’s The Recce is as engrossing as it is terrifying and has a particularly brilliant ending, one which will shock audiences and leave them questioning the futility of warfare.

Due to its very specific subject matter, The Recce will obviously have more resonance in South Africa than internationally as the film refers to the 1980’s, a turbulent decade in this country’s fascinating and multi-dimensional history.

Strictly for fans of decent war films, The Recce gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Film Directors & Festivals
Review Calender
August 2020
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
  • From ‘The Mandalorian’ to ‘Little Fires Everywhere,’ the Emmys are Having a Moment With Existing IP
    As a reliance on established intellectual property has engulfed the industry as a whole, the 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards have also put a spotlight on adaptations, reboots and brand extensions. Examples abound, from HBO’s graphic novel adaptation “Watchmen” to Netflix’s interactive “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” movie “Kimmy vs. the Reverend” and “Breaking Bad” stand-alone follow-up […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • Blue Note Records Promotes Justin Seltzer to Newly Created GM Position
    Blue Note Records has created a general manager position directly under president Don Was and promoted Justin Seltzer to manage the day-to-day operations of the storied jazz label in the new role. “Justin is a passionate advocate for jazz and is innovative in his approach to expanding the jazz audience in our ever-evolving industry,” said […]
    chrislwillman
  • ‘Taskmaster’ Moved to CW Seed Streaming Service
    After unceremoniously pulling “Taskmaster” from it schedule after only a single episode, the CW has found a new home for the U.K. acquisition. Variety has learned that the full 10 episodes (series 8 in the U.K.) of “Taskmaster” which the CW acquired will now be available to stream for free on its CW Seed streaming […]
    Will Thorne
  • How The TCA Awards Set the Trend of Gender-Inclusive Categories, but Not Intentionally
    Awards shows have long been a platform to celebrate art while recognizing the current social climate. This year though, with the call to end systemic racism, get to 50-50 gender parity and generally “do better,” are organizations that continue to separate acting categories by gender ensuring equal representation, or are they perpetuating problematic industry-wide behaviors […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • WGA West Advises Members Against Signing Coronavirus Liability Waivers
    Members of the Writers Guild of America West have been urged by staff to not sign COVD-19 liability waivers, which exempt employers from their legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace. The directive was sent to the 10,000 WGA members by the guild staff and asserted, “Your employer is required by law to provide a […]
    Dave McNary
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90