In the early 70’s Peet Roussouw produced the marvelous TV series Die Siel van die Mier. Since then only Athol Fugard and Katinka Heyns could manage to succesfully capture extracts from the life of Eugène Marais on the big screen.
The Foundation will be screening both acclaimed cinematic contributions, The Guest and Die Wonderwerker in Paarl. Each screening will be followed by a short informal discussion with both directors.
The Guest (1977) takes place on the farm Stenekampskraal in the Heidelberg district where Marais resided with the Meyer family. It not only shows the close friendship between Marais and the physician and poet dr. A.G. Visser, but also the effect Marais’ addiction to morphine had on the Meyer family and his affair with Brenda Steyn. Athol Fugard portrays Marais in a spellbinding performance with Marius Wyers as dr. A.G. Visser.
The director Ross Devenish created an atmosphere that brings the words of Marais’ poem Diep Rivier to life: “… ek hoor die sag gedruis van waters diep en koud; ek hoor jou stem as fluistering in ‘n droom, kom snel, O Diep Rivier, O Donker Stroom.”
Chris Barnard, scriptwriter of Die Wonderwerker mentions: “This 2011 film was produced and directed by Katinka Heyns in the Waterberg, a stone’s throw from the farm Rietfontein where Gys van Rooyen and his wife Maria farmed in 1908.” Katinka Heyns’ brilliant direction makes the often tragic life of Marais accessible to a larger audience. The interaction between the worldly Marais and the isolated Waterberg folk is portrayed with utmost empathy.
Despite the fact that the script was written as a love story, Marais’ considerable influence in Waterberg is not overlooked. The title of the film refers to an incident where Marais cured Hessie van Deventer by means of hypnosis.
Come and share in a once-off screening of Marais’ legacy on the big screen. Contact Nicolette van Rensburg at 076 451 9262 or email@example.com
Tickets are limited!
Illustration: Eugène Marais Foundation