My Father’s War (2016)
IMDb rating: 7.7/10Watch full movie now
Edwin van der Walt is wonderfully hateable as wild-child rebel Dap Smit in South African coming-of-age war drama My Father’s War. Dap lives like there’s no tomorrow and he does as he wants seemingly without consequence. It’s only when his tough-love ex-soldier dad Dawid (Stian Bam) confronts him that the tensions flare and Dap says things he can’t take back – like he wishes his dad died at war.
And then one night, Dap finds himself in a horrifyingly real dream. He’s in the Border War (the armed conflict between South Africa, Namibia and Angola, 1966-1990), and fighting alongside his own dad. He slowly comes to realise that his dad isn’t a bad guy – but war does unimaginable things to people.
This is a bleak, but wonderfully filmed movie, lifting the lid on what it was like for young men then, when PTSD wasn’t a recognised diagnosis like it is today.
“There’s a real sense of writer/director Craig Gardner pouring his heart and soul into this,” says Ilan Preskovsky at news24.com. “It would not have surprised me at all to find out that everything about the film was stripped straight from his own life.”