Monday, May 27, 2019
Home Entertainment "Harvesters", in the heart of an Afrikaner stronghold

"Harvesters", in the heart of an Afrikaner stronghold

This film from the selection Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival tells the story of a teenager's arrival in an Afrikaner family in South Africa.

The harvesters **

of Etienne Kallos

South African movie, 1h46

Who decides on the outlines of a family? For Mary, it is God who has just sent him a new child, Pieter, a street teenager with a heavy past. She asks her husband, her three daughters and her eldest son, Janno, to accept her as a family member. The father's greetings: " It was necessary that you choose the bad one, it is not what we wanted. Exasperated, he saw Pieter's cravings and nightmares as signs of the impiousness of this ungodly man. Marie relies on Janno, just older than the newcomer, to help her rebuild herself. Despite his great desire to comply with his mother's expectations, the teenager is also hostile: " He is not my brother, he will never be. "

A South African of Greek origin, Étienne Kallos discovered during his theater studies in Cape Town the free state, one of the South African provinces and one of the main Afrikaner nationalist strongholds, these descendants of the first Dutch settlers settled in the region in the XVIIe century. Part of this very believing community lives in fortified farms and in fear of murder, obsessed by its survival as an ethnic minority in a country with a predominantly black population.

Colorful getaway in South Africa

The filmmaker portrays her without judgment: "I have respect for the way Afrikaners work the land and sympathy for the new generation. I wanted to talk about adolescence, the first generation to be born completely apart from apartheid. (…) How to live with the weight of colonialism and even postcolonialism, when we must make today South Africa a healthy and peaceful country? "


Harvesters immersed in the silent daily life of this rural family that only church cults come out of isolation. At the center of the story, two teenagers clash, enemy brothers shared between submission to the community model and rejection. They argue over a parental love that can not express themselves and an uncomfortable heritage of earthly goods, heavenly aspirations and unspoken heavens.

If the image abuses against the light, it helps to create a unique atmosphere by niming a golden light work fields and herds of cows in wild landscapes, prayer groups and meals shared in the house where everything seems immutable.

Corinne Renou-Nativel



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