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Beautiful in Beaufort Wes

 

(Beautiful in Beaufort Wes) Director: Walter Stokman, NIZ, 2006, original version / English § Czech subtitles, 54 min

Beaufort West is a small village in the Karoo, a stretch of semi-desert reaching from Cape Town up to Johannesburg. It is also home and primary inspiration to the innovative poet and haunting folksinger Gert Vlok Nel, who manages to be a sort of South African equivalent of Dylan Thomas and Tom Waits at the same time. Walter Stokman's elegant, languid film captures him at ease in his natural habitat, surrounded by offbeat characters from the region's predominantly poor population, most notably his father, a retired railwayman. Gert's prize-winning and oft-anthologized poems, written in a skewed, playful and unusual Afrikaans, have achived an almost mythical status for his tiny hometown, now romanticized for its faded purity and integrity.


 

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