They say: A deeply unsettling portrait of a disturbed figure in this minimalist and socially committed film that marks director Rix as one of South African cinema’s finest young talents.
We say: An unflinching look at life in a South African township. Filmed on a handheld camera, we follow John (the compelling Pethro Themba Mole), an unemployed young man, over a couple of days. The camera stays on him the whole time, with peripheral characters barely coming in to view.
Spending his time roaming the neighbourhood and engaging in loveless sex with a number of local women, John learns from one of his casual hook-ups that she has HIV. After giving her a beating, a male friend mentions over a beer a supposed cure which John decides to pursue, leading him down a very dark road indeed.
John is not a likeable character to begin with and there is little to make you feel any empathy or sympathy for him. What starts off as some kind of grim version of ‘Alfie’ ends up somewhere a lot darker, all the more so as it is based on real happenings in South Africa. This is a bleak and at times difficult to watch film, but is skilfully crafted by director Michael J Rix.