Work Starts on ‘The Story of Racheltjie de Beer’
Principal photography on the much-anticipated South African film ‘The Story of Racheltjie de Beer’ is underway. The film is being shot on location in the rugged Eastern Free State and the Drakensberg.
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by writer and filmmaker Brett Michael Innes, the film tells the story of Afrikaans family, the De Beers, who are forced to find shelter on a local farm in the Eastern Free State of South Africa in the 1800s. Winter has arrived and, as dark clouds laden with snow start to roll in over the Drakensberg mountains, tragedy strikes.
“Known as an Afrikaans tale for all South Africans, the film is inspired by the cherished tale, passed down from generation to generation, of female folk hero Racheltjie de Beer,” says Innes. “When they became separated from the rest of their party, the young girl gave her life to save that of her little brother, making her mark on history as a youthful hero.”
It’s a poignant story of hardship, sacrifice and selfless love set against the harsh backdrop of the South African bushveld during the Great Trek, the eastward migration of Dutch-speaking settlers who travelled by wagon trains from the Cape into the interior of modern South Africa, where they were seeking escape from the British colonial administration.
The film will be directed by Matthys Boshoff (Silwerskermfees short film winner ‘Vlees van my Vlees’, 2016), who has an acclaimed career as a multi-award winning commercials director. He makes his feature film directorial debut with The Story of Racheltjie de Beer.
Innes too is no stranger to big screen adaptations, having directed ‘Sink’ in 2016, which was based on his novel ‘Rachel Weeping’, about Rachel, a Mozambican domestic worker living in Johannesburg, who is forced to make a life-changing decision after her daughter dies while under the care of her employer.
The stellar cast features Stian Bam (‘Modder en Bloed’, ‘Verraaiers’), Zonika De Vries (‘‘n Man Soos My Pa’, ‘Dis Koue Kos, Skat’), Marius Weyers (‘Dis Ek, Anna’, ‘Faan Se Trein’), Sandra Prinsloo (‘‘n Man Soos My Pa’, ‘‘n Pawpaw Vir My Darling’), Antoinette Louw (‘Bram Fischer’, ‘Nul Is Nie Niks Nie’), and Beate Opperman (‘Verraaiers’, ‘Roepman’). Starring in his first film role will be Johannes Jordaan in the role of Racheltjie’s little brother.
“The legend of Racheltjie de Beer is a tale for all time and many South Africans consider it part of their heritage,” says Helen Kuun, MD of Indigenous Film Distribution. “We are thrilled to be involved in bringing her story to life on the big screen for loyal fans and younger contemporary audiences alike.”
Produced by Johan Kruger of Brittle Star Pictures (‘Sink’, ‘’n Man Soos my Pa’), The Story of Racheltjie de Beer is slated for release toward the end of 2019.
Find out more by visiting Indigenous Film Distribution’s website.