21 Afrikaans flieks to stream
Whether you’ve seen them before and want to relive the romance, the action and the drama, or are looking for a new film to fall in love with, you can’t go wrong with these Afrikaans movies that your fellow streamers have watched again and again.
Liewe Lisa (Romance)
Actor Hendrik Cronjé (7de Laan) makes his debut as writer and director in Liewe Lisa. After an extra-marital affair messed up his life plans, Daniel flees to a small town where he’s attracted to the simple life of a fisherman (played by Zane Meas from 7de Laan).
Leandie du Randt (Vuil Wasgoed, Mooirivier) shakes off her good-girl image in Jagveld. The film is directed by Byron Davis, with a script by seasoned writer Deon Meyer, who also wrote the script for Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee and Die Laaste Tango, as well as the novels Prooi, Dertien Uur and Spoor. Last year, Spoor was developed into the crime series Trackers, now streaming on Showmax.
When quiet primary school teacher Emma crosses paths in the Karoo with violent drug dealers, she must fight to survive. Bit by bit she overcomes her soft nature and pacifism and a tough woman who knows how to defend herself emerges.
Emma is a mix of the bride in Kill Bill and Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. She is afraid of nothing, hit backs when necessary and is just as capable as any man in this Karoo survival western.
O Vet! (Comedy)
Lisa is a journalist at a Christian magazine who’s fed up with her body and her creative ideas. She joins a weight-loss group where she meets three other women and a man who also want to change their lives.
Bertha le Roux-Wahl (7de Laan) plays the main role, and along with Karin van der Laag (Suiderkruis, Isidingo), Solomon Cupido (Ek Joke Net), and Reine Swart (Die Pro), she tells an inspiring story about self respect and acceptance.
Swaaibraai (Comedy short)
In this short film from last year’s kykNET Silwerskermfees with the controversial, suggestive poster, Cintaine Schutte (Fynskrif, and SAFTA-nominated for Die Seemeeu) and Johann Vermaak (Die Spreeus, Vagrant Queen) as a couple trying to spice up their marriage. A new app lets them anonymously join a swingers’ party, where each person can choose to go home with someone else’s spouse.
The comedy is hilarious and the production values are high. It is writer-director Gerhard Pretorius’s third short film, after Kloof and The Discovery of Fire. The cast is rounded out by SAFTA winner Louw Venter (Swartwater, Corne and Twakkie’s The Most Amazing Show) and Lara Toselli (Tali’s Wedding Diary, A Boere-Krismis), with Frank Opperman (Dominee Tienie, Queen Sono) and Chanelle de Jager (Projek Dina, Stroomop) as narrators.
Sy Klink Soos Lente (Comedy)
Ben is a mechanic in Joburg, and when he meets Linda, he’ll do anything to impress her. He tells her he’s a singer in a band and when she asks to come to their next gig, he has to quickly make a plan to make his lie come true. To make things worse, his friends and colleagues, played by Bennie Fourie (Vuil Wasgoed, Ander Mens) and James Cunningham (Hotel, Vuil Wasgoed) have zero musical talent.
Sy Klink Soos Lente has Stiaan Smith (Vuil Wasgoed, Wonderlus) and Amalia Uys (Vir die Voëls, Vergeet My Nie) in the main roles and Corne van Rooyen (Vaselinetjie, Alles Malan) in the director’s chair. There’s also an impressive local soundtrack and it scored Silwerskerm nominations for Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography.
Thys en Trix (Crime comedy)
In the third-biggest box office hit of 2018, the over-careful Thys and rule-breaker Trix – brother and sister undercover cops – are forced to pretend to be man and wife to infiltrate a luxury golf estate in the hunt for the head of a smuggling ring.
Bouwer Bosch (Vuil Wasgoed, Mooirivier) and Leandie du Randt (Jagveld, Binnelanders) are brilliant in the main roles and director Quentin Krog (Ander Mens, Vir die Voëls) balances the film’s comedy, tension and action.
The other inhabitants of the golf estate are played by Zak Hendrikz (Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling), Dorette Potgieter (Die Kasteel), Chanelle de Jager (Projek Dina), Ivan Zimmermann (Alles Malan), Charlie Bouguenon (Vuil Wasgoed) and Deon Coetzee (Spoorloos), with Brendon Daniels (Four Corners, Cowboy Dan) as their captain.
Stroomop (Adventure drama)
In a desperate effort to find healing, five women in a self-help group find themselves on the Orange River on adventure therapy. What’s the worst that can happen?
Ivan Botha’s directorial debut, starring his wife DonnaLee Roberts (from Afrikaans movies Pad Na Jou Hart, Vir Altyd), Stroomop was the second most popular local film at the South African box office in 2018.
The adventure story also won Best Feature Film at WorldFest Houston 2019 and SAFTA awards for Best Supporting Actress (Ilse Klink from Isidingo) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Minuche Bridgette Snyman).
Two-time Comics’ Choice winner Schalk Bezuidenhout, who also won a SAFTA for his supporting role in the kykNET comedy Hotel, stars in Kanarie as a small-town boy during apartheid who is chosen to serve his compulsory two-year military training in the South African Defence Force choir, where he discovers his true self through hardship, camaraderie, first love, and the liberating freedom of music.
Directed by Christiaan Olwagen (Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie), Kanarie won the 2019 SAFTA for Best Script and five 2018 Silwerskermfees Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.
Indiewire named Kanarie one of the 14 Best LGBTQ International Films of 2018, while The Los Angeles Times praised it as a “rich, poignant and finely observed musical-drama” and The Hollywood Reporter as “a winning combination of thoughtfulness and exuberance.”
Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story (Drama)
Lavender Hill resident Ellen Pakkies went to hell and back in 2007, making headlines around the world for murdering her druggie son Abie. It’s retold in thos fantastically gritty, deep and poignant movie.
The biographical drama reveals the truth behind Ellen’s mercy killing, which she says she did not only out of her love for Abie (because he was killing himself) but to protect herself: in his tik-fuelled rage, Ellen (played by Jill Levenberg) feared her son (played by Jarrid Geduld) would rape her.
The story captivated producer Daryne Joshua (Noem My Skollie), who wrote the screenplay. The supporting cast reads like the who’s who in SA’s soapie world: Ilse Klink (Isidingo), Clint Brink (Binnelanders), Russel Savadier (The Wild) and Amrain Ismail-Essop (Die Testament) all pop up. And local and international critics have embraced the drama with open arms: it took home trophies at the 2018 SilwerskermFees, the 2018 SAFTAs and it was selected for the Rotterdam International Film Festival and Seattle International Film Festival.
Droomdag (Romantic comedy)
Tanya is desperate to find the man she will settle down with but always seems to end up with Mr Wrong. She takes a break from dating – only to meet the man of her dreams. But that’s just the start of her problems.
Saartjie Botha’s acclaimed play uses rugby as a metaphor for exploring issues of masculinity. This film version, like the original play, was directed by Jaco Brouwer.
Die Parkie Storie (Comedy drama)
Luan is an orphan with the strength of Superman and a crush on a sweet waitress. When he defends the local park from a mobster, he quickly realises he’s attracted the attention of some dangerous guys.
Meisies Wat Fluit (Romance)
Henk and Sofia fell in love too soon, got married too soon, and are now getting divorced too soon. Their marriage didn’t work, but maybe a new type of relationship could?
From SAFTA and Silwerskerm-winning writer-director Johan Cronjé (Wonderlus), Meisies Wat Fluit stars SAFTA winner Stiaan Smith (Hotel, Wonderlus and Vuil Wasgoed) as Henk and Leandie du Randt (who you’ll recognise from Afrikaans movies Vuil Wasgoed, Jagveld and Thys en Trix) as Sofia. SAFTA and Silwerskerm winner Bennie Fourie (Vuil Wasgoed, Hotel) also features.
Moffie (LGBTQ drama)
Currently on the longlist for the Golden Globe’s Foreign Film category, Moffie won the Film Critics’ Special Jury Prize at the 2020 Dublin International Film Festival and is one of the few Afrikaans movies with a 100% critics’ rating from Rotten Tomatoes, with Variety raving, “South African auteur Oliver Hermanus makes his masterpiece with this brutal but radiant story of young gay desire on the Angolan war front… establishing him quite plainly as South Africa’s most vital contemporary filmmaker… Both a shiver-delicate exploration of unspoken desire and a scarringly brilliant anatomy of white South African masculinity. It fair takes your breath away.”
Fiela se Kind (Drama)
This is the 2019 adaptation of the Dalene Mathee classic novel about a mother raising the baby she found on her doorstep as one of her own, and the journey she and the boy undertake to find their way back to each other after the law steps in and separates them. Directed by Brett Michael Innes and starring Zenobia Kloppers, is a tearjerker of note – even by Afrikaans movies’ standards.
Hy Sê/Sy Sê (Drama)
Robbie and Annie have been married for nine months and the “honeymoon phase” of the relationship is coming to an end. The reality of waking up next to the same person every morning seems less and less appealing to Annie.
Poppie Nongena (Drama)
In this harrowing examination of the injustice of South Africa’s apartheid-era Pass Laws, a woman who loses her right to live in the city fights to keep her family together. From the director of Kanarie, one of the most critically acclaimed Afrikaans movies of all time, Christiaan Olwagen.
Directed by award-winner Darrell Roodt (Sarafina!), Jakhalsdans was filmed in Loxton in the Karoo. An idealistic young teacher moves to a small town, only to discover that her school is facing financial ruin. She organises a music festival, hoping to attract some big-time stars to help raise funds. Starring Theuns Jordaan and Elizma Theron.
We’ve seen a lot of Afrikaans movies in our time, but we’ve never seen anything like this. In 1967, South African Republican Intelligence Agents investigate an unidentified object that landed on a farm in the desolate Karoo. What follows is a found-footage sci-fi mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Griekwastad (True-life drama)
After the 2012 murder of a family on their farm, the tough search for the truth around the murders begins. Based on a real-life crime that shook South Africa, this is one of the most harrowing Afrikaans movies we’ve ever watched.
Toorbos (Romantic drama)
The story of a young woman who, after living in the Knysna Forest for all her life, falls in love with a man from the city and must decide to stay or spread her wings. Based on the beloved novel by Dalene Matthee.