Trailer for another thriller from South Africa; it seems like we’ve written about more than a couple in the last few months – maybe more than we’ve ever covered in the last 2 1/2 years of the site’s existence. Obviously, South African thrillers existed before S&A was born, but we are only now starting to pay attention to them. I’d say probably after District 9, in 2009 (also the same year this site was created) South African cinema, especially what we’d call more *genre* fare, has been receiving international attention unlike it ever did before; South African filmmakers (mainly white South African filmmakers however) are making their splashy feature film debuts in South Africa, which are attracting Hollywood’s interest, leading to the filmmakers helming gazillion dollar pictures with big name stars.
Gaving Hood (Tsotsi) and Neill Blomkamp (District 9) immediately come to mind, as well as Sharlto Copley (although he’s an actor); and we can also throw this new fellow into that mix…
Writer/director Mukunda Michael Dewil, who latest project, titled Vehicle 19, based on a *hot* script he penned, attracted Fast Five star Paul Walker, who is starring and executive producing the espionage thriller set in South Africa.
Mukunda can thank the success of his feature debut, another thriller titled Retribution, which stars two of South Africa’s reverred actors Joe Mafela and Jeremy Crutchley.
The synopsis for Retribution reads:
A retired judge (Joe Mafela) is sent by his editor to an isolated cabin in the South African wilderness to write his memoirs. A lost hiker (Jeremy Crutchley) stays over for the night to leave the next morning but his stay might be extended.
And the game begins…
Retribution apparently made a bit of a splash in the international film festival circuit (although we obviously missed it) and was released in South Africa this past August, where it was said to have been very well received. I read a number of comparisons made to Cape Fear and Misery, to give you some idea of what to expect; others called it a “violent” and “atmospheric” “well-crafted” psychological thriller; and the fact that the judge in the film is black and the hiker is white, is said to be irrelevant to what happens in the narrative, with one critic calling it a “post-apartheid movie.”
I suppose a comparable term here in the USA might be “post-racial,” whatever that means to you…
The film opened in South African cinemas in August, but no word on whether it’ll travel. I sent an email to the company handling sales of the film about its international prospects, so when I know you’ll know.
Watch the trailer below, which I actually don’t care much for. It’s too abrupt, and the music doesn’t help. I couldn’t find anything better; but if this trailer were all I had to go on, without knowing anything else about the film, I’d probably pass on it: