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Review: Noem My Skollie
4.5Overall Score

A powerful film every South African should watch.

Starring: Dann-jacques Mouton and Gantane Kusch

Plot: Noem My Skollie tells the story of four teenagers, AB and his three best friends Gimba, Gif and Shorty who grow up on the impoverished ganglands of Cape Flats in the 1960s. Despite their circumstances, the children try to avoid the gangsters who infiltrate their daily lives but when AB goes through a traumatic experience they decide to form a gang to protect themselves. The four friends, now like brothers, do not commit serious crimes, but the police keep a close watch on them as they grow from teenagers into popular young men. Eventually the now older AB and Gimba are arrested whilst breaking into a shop and sentenced to two years in jail. It is here, in the vicious world of prison, that AB decides to use his storytelling talent to entertain the hardened prisoners and raise his status whilst his friend, Gimba engages on a very different path to ensure his own safety… When AB is released from prison he picks up on the relationship with his beautiful childhood sweetheart, Jenny and so tries to focus on writing his stories to impress her, but his gang friends persuade him to join them one last time, a decision that leads to shocking consequences for all of them.

Remarks: After watching the trailer earlier this year, I knew ‘Noem My Skollie’ would be a powerful film, but I didn’t expect just how moved I would be. This is a real story based on the life of John W. Fredericks, the film’s scriptwriter, which makes it an even more remarkable film. The story is incredibly strong. The film shows such a real, authentic representation of gangs in the Cape Flats in the 1960s and how members needed to adapt to survive even from a young age. The story also sheds some light on the 26s and 28s gang in prison during the time. Dann-Jacques and the other three main characters were splendid. A lot of raw emotion is needed for a role like this. It’s a role that tests your ability as an actor and each of the four shine throughout the film. The film is also a great indication of just how much the local film industry has grown over the past few years. ‘Noem My Skollie’ is beautifully shot. So much time and effort was spent on costumes, the set etc and it all comes together perfectly on screen. This is one of the best local films I have seen in a very long time and I strongly feel that every South African should go and see it. The only negative thing about the film was its length. Two and a half hours is incredibly long. However, I didn’t find myself bored or agitated at all because of this and, in a way, I’m glad they didn’t rush the story.

Rating: 4.5/5

Noem My Skollie releases on 2 September 2016.

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