Durban International Film Festival 2016: Short, sharp reviews by Brenda Daniels
A Mile in My Shoes
The full title of this Moroccan/Canadian film is “You don’t me know me until you have walked A Mile in My Shoes”. This appellation is borne out in the action of the film as a convicted criminal tells his story to a journalist, a journalist who is prepared to listen to the man behind the crimes .The underlying premise of the tale is clearly that criminals are made not born; under favourable conditions they would not turn to lawlessness. The latter is all I can use to explain the surprising – and I feel unrealistic – ending of an otherwise tense and brilliantly acted movie.
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This firmly South African novel is set in the fictional rural area of Dirkersfield, SA, and follows the adventures of main character, Ingrid Steele. Ingrid’s husband, Warren, has a mental breakdown and is admitted to hospital for psychiatric treatment. It is while he is there that Ingrid discovers a long-held family secret, one that has grave consequences for herself, her family and her community. As Ingrid “unravels” in the face of emerging truths she questions her Christian faith, the strength of her relationships, the taboo of mixed race romances in South Africa’s vulnerable new democracy, and the difference between infatuation and love. Author, Leanne Hunt, does well to weave these themes into a plot that delivers a number of surprises, thereby keeping the reader’s attention and providing food for thought. I loved the South African flavour of this novel and its thoughtful highlighting of difficult issues like racial prejudices and the AIDS pandemic. Visit www.leannehunt.co.za for further information.