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
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
March 2020
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
  • John Callahan, ‘All My Children’ Soap Opera Star, Dies at 66
    John Callahan, a soap opera star on “All My Children,” died on Saturday morning after suffering a stroke at his Palm Springs, Calif., home on Friday. He was 66. “Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated–my great friend, co-parent partner, and loving father to Kaya,” […]
    Jordan Moreau
  • ‘Uncorked’ Director Prentice Penny and Star Mamoudou Athie Talk Wine, Barbecue and Family Expectations
    It’s easy to feel intimidated by wine. All those hard-to-pronounce names, so many vineyards to remember. That’s the world Elijah, played by Mamoudou Athie, wants to enter in the new Netflix movie “Uncorked,” about a young man who dreams of taking the brutally difficult master sommelier exam instead of taking over his family’s Memphis barbecue […]
    Pat Saperstein
  • How the Coronavirus Crisis Turned Governor Andrew Cuomo Into a TV Sensation (Column)
    High on the list of things that nobody could have predicted just a few weeks ago is the emergence of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a buzzy daytime TV draw. Cuomo’s expansive daily media briefings on the state of the coronavirus pandemic that has spread quickly through the Empire State have become national news, […]
    Cynthia Littleton
  • Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Return to U.S. After Coronavirus Diagnosis in Australia
    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are back home in the U.S. after they revealed they had contracted coronavirus and were quarantined in Australia. Hanks gave an update on Twitter Saturday morning, thanking everyone who had helped them in Australia and assuring people that they are still isolating themselves in the U.S. “Hey, folks…We’re home now […]
    Jordan Moreau
  • Cardi B Pledges to Start a GoFundMe for Joe Exotic From Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’
    Cardi B, like most people in the world, is hooked on Netflix’s “Tiger King.” Over the past couple of days, Cardi has been tweeting about the new docu-series, which follows the bizarre story of Joe Exotic, a private zoo owner with hundreds of exotic animals who ends up in jail for hiring a hitman to […]
    Jordan Moreau
  • 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