Beurtkrag film feature image Suitcase and Chardonnay

By Renate Engelbrecht

Monday, Jun 13

If there is one person who is a hopeless romantic, it’s me. But, life happens and as you get older you realise that your dream of a perfect relationship truly is just a fantasy. Because relationships, like the people in it, are real. And so are gaps in communication. Somehow, against the backdrop of loadshedding, the very relatable film, Beurtkrag brings that message to life. 

Beurtkrag the movie
Beurtkrag’ the movie. Image: Supplied

Actors Ivan Botha and Donnalee Roberts have taken a theatre production, which evolved from a short film shown at the Silwerskerm Festival seven years ago and built it out into a full-length film. Not any kind of film, though. A tangible, relatable relationship drama that draws the viewer in and speaks to you as individual in a raw, truthful way.

In the film the characters, Jasper and Fransie get caught up in the challenge of having to face their past. They had just moved into their new home when loadshedding hit – something many viewers might even interpret as the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation leads to them having to find a way to get past some really difficult relationship issues keeping them from moving forward. Evidently viewers will be able to relate to the couple in many ways, as we’ve all been in relationships – be it romantic or platonic – at some point in our lives. If you have been in a relationship, had your heart broken or merely just believed in love, you will be able to relate.

Directed by Jozua Malherbe, the team passionately kept working on this project throughout the pandemic. Ivan and Donnalee were almost the only two actors in the film. That and the fact that they had merely two filming locations made it more doable for them to film during such a challenging time. They were also able to dig deep and truly build out the original writer, Stiaan Smith’s characters’ personalities, differences and difficulties – something truly vital to the essence Beurtkrag.

Ivan Botha and Donnalee Roberts as Jasper and Fransie in Beurtkrag
Ivan Botha and Donnalee Roberts as Jasper and Fransie in ‘Beurtkrag.’ Image: Supplied

Ultimately, a parallel is drawn between what we hope love is and what love really is. Donnalee and Ivan say the film has no special lessons, but it rather holds up a mirror. “No one has answers on love,” says Donnalee. She encourages viewers to see themselves and their relationships in the realness and rawness of Beurtkrag. Are you communicating the right way? How can you be a better person in your relationship?

READ: Marriage – It’s your responsibility to be vigilant

In the end, communication is key. In the film, Jasper and Fransie are forced to communicate and unpack that baggage that keep them from moving forward. The problem is, their communication styles differ, as in many real-life relationships. People communicate in different ways with different people. Some are talkers, others not. The ultimate goal should be to learn to bring your two worlds together and find your own language for your relationship. This is probably the one thing I found was beautifully portrayed in the film.

Ivan Botha and Donnalee Roberts Beurtkrag
Ivan Botha and Donnalee Roberts, ‘Beurtkrag.’ Image: Supplied

It’s raw. It’s real. Like life.

Beurtkrag’ Premieres exclusively on DsTv Box Office on the 16th of June 2022.


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