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Genres: Drama
Actors: Rutger Hauer , Liam Cunningham , Carice van Houten , Grant Swanby , Graham Clarke , Leon Clingman , Martinus Van Der Berg , Jennifer Steyn , Florence Masebe , Candice D’Arcy , Damon Berry , Waldemar Schultz , Nicholas Pauling , Ceridwen Morris , Sabrina Oschmann
Director: Paula van der Oest
Country: Germany, Netherlands, South Africa
Year: 2011
IMDB Rating: 5.9/10 (970 votes)

She searched for a home, she searched for love. Confronted by Apartheid and a father who was Minister of censorship. With men like Jack Cope and Andre Brink she found much love, but no home. In his first speech to the South African Parliament Nelson Mandela read her poem “The Dead Child of Nyanga” and addresses her as one of the finest poets of South Africa.

Film Review

A middle aged writer rescues a young woman from drowning near the shores of South Africa. Although he is much older, they fall in love right there and then and soon some obvious complications ensue. There is hardly a likable or interesting character in this wandering historical drama about the poet Ingrid Jonker (Carice van Houten). It deals primarily with the mentally troubled writer and her precarious relationships with men, including her father (Rutger Hauer) who is a member of the apartheid regime she strongly opposes. The film never picks up any speed and the absence of a discernible plot line or a compelling narrative makes for a very pallid viewing experience. Hauers script is particularly one-note but the same could be said of van Houten who seemed to be out of her depth in the role of a frustrated and depressed young woman trying to get her voice heard through rebellious poetry. Liam Cunningham fares a lot better as one of the two love interests and produces the only sympathe…

This review was made for Cambridge Film Festival (UK) – 15 to 25 September 2011* Contains spoilers *As expected, Liam Cunningham (as Jack Cope) was excellent, but Carice van Houten, playing poet Ingrid Jonker, was a revelation. To those in the know, she perfectly carried out a role that betrayed the traits of impetuosity, feeling abandoned, blaming others, promiscuity, drinking too much in order to feel safe and able to cope, and becoming overwhelmed by conflicting emotions, which characterize some common personality disorders (they would probably have called them neuroses then).Yet, as is by no means inconsistent, her character was delightful, and she filled the screen with feeling, from seducing Jack, and showing the characters' hunger for each other in the very beautiful sex-scenes, to hurling objects at him with extreme force. There are claims that she has had other lovers, but Eugene and Jack, the ones who are definite, both find her draining, as well they would. A force for…

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