Home Cannes Film Festival 2011 Day 7 – First Afrikaans Movie in Cannes

Day 7 – First Afrikaans Movie in Cannes


Saw a great South African movie this morning – ‘Skoonheid’, directed by Oliver Hermanus. Fantastic production. Absolutely international quality. Brave and brilliant acting. I don’t think it’ll be a huge commercial success – the subject matter (a married man dealing with misplaced lust) is a little sensitive, and there are some sex scenes that could freak the odd tannie out. But wow, really impressed.

No huge political overtones. Just a couple of comments here and there, and observations on the strict codes of conduct expected of and by South Africa’s older generation, compared to the freedom the younger generation enjoys…but that’s a theme that crosses cultural and national borders, and so it’s a universal tale of forbidden desires and the tragic consequences of living a life tainted by secrets and lies.

Deon Lotz and Charlie Keegan in 'Skoonheid'
Deon Lotz and Charlie Keegan in 'Skoonheid'

The cast and crew took to the stage before the screening of the film in Un Certain Regard. This is the first Afrikaans film invited to the Cannes Film Festival! And it’s unlikely to be the last.

The 'Skoonheid' cast and crew before the film's screening in Cannes
The 'Skoonheid' cast and crew before the film's screening in Cannes

Dashed back to the press office in the Palais just in time for the Jodie Foster press conference. Had to miss her movie – ‘Beaver’ – in order to see ‘Skoonheid’ because they were on at the same time. Anyway, she’s amazing. Such a deep and serious voice. I’ve never heard anyone say ‘hi’ with so few syllables. Short, sharp and to the point. Most of the questions were about Mel Gibson. Oops. I’ve run out of time. Will tell you more later.

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Jenni is the co-founder and chief editor of SAPeople.com, co-author of The Expat Confessions and co-parent of three gorgeous daughters. After graduating, she worked as a TV producer, political researcher and journalist in South Africa, before moving to London to interview movie stars for international magazines and to tackle British teen angst for London Weekend Television. She has also lived in Australia, and currently lives in France. Jenni is happiest paddle boarding on the Med or sipping rooibos in the bush in Africa. Contact jen@sapeople.com


  1. Its so sad how they want to give people an open door for sexual imorality in the lives of Afrikaans people. I believe they can use their talents to make more moral and useful films.

  2. Its sad to see that only fringe behaviour can atract attention. We have so many greater things to see about real life in SA. Hoe cares about al the people how are left behind because our education system is so bad and corupted by unions or about al the people who lose their jobs because of gready listed companies?????

    • Upon reading your comment I have come to the conclusion you have a lack of eduction. Your spelling is horrific!

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