High Fantasy

Directed by Jenna Cato Bass
Produced by Jenna Cato Bass, Steven Markovitz, David Horler
Written by Jenna Bass, Qondiswa James, Nala Khumalo, Francesca Varrie Michel, Liza Scholtz, Loren Loubser
74 min
South Africa
2017



 


Synopsis

Crammed into a car, four friends are going on a camping trip. Their destination is an isolated farm in South Africa’s Northern Cape. It’s owned by Lexi’s (Francesca Michel) family, and she’s invited her two best friends; Politically radical Xoli (Qondiswa James) and happy-go-lucky Tatiana (Liza Scholtz). Without telling the others, she’s also invited a new male friend, Thami (Nala Khumalo), who’s chauvinistic attitude immediately puts the three young women on edge. What’s more, Xoli won’t let Lexi forget her white privilege, that her coloniser forefathers only own this land at the expense of the country’s indigenous black people. Tatiana does her best to keep the peace, but it’s only a matter of time before things fall apart. They’re all in their early 20’s, recent graduates of university and the national Fees Must Fall protests that brought South African colleges to a standstill in 2015 and 2016. To them, like many of their “woke” generation, the post-apartheid Rainbow Nation of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu is nothing but an ill-conceived fantasy.

Without telling the others, she’s also invited a new male friend, Thami (Nala Khumalo), who’s chauvinistic attitude immediately puts the three young women on edge. What’s more, Xoli won’t let Lexi forget her white privilege, that her coloniser forefathers only own this land at the expense of the country’s indigenous black people. Tatiana does her best to keep the peace, but it’s only a matter of time before things fall apart.

They’re all in their early 20’s, recent graduates of university and the national Fees Must Fall protests that brought South African colleges to a standstill in 2015 and 2016. To them, like many of their “woke” generation, the post-apartheid Rainbow Nation of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu is nothing but an ill-conceived fantasy.

Festivals

Toronto International Film Festival, Canada, 2017