Ingrid Jonker on Film

Jacob Boersema, a Dutch PhD student who works on Afrikaner identity in postapartheid South Africa, recently told me about a new film, “Black Butterflies,” about the life of Ingrid Jonker, the late Afrikaans poet (she committed suicide in 1965), whose work gained renewed interest after Nelson Mandela read one of her poems during his inaugural speech as South Africa’s first democratic president in 1994. A Dutch crew is currently shooting the film in Cape Town. All the leads are played by non-South Africans.  Reports suggest the film will focus on Jonker’s affairs with two of her lovers, Jack Cope and Andre Brink. I don’t know enough about the production, but I did notice that the same person who brought as the deplorable “Goodbye Bafana”–the film about Mandela’s close relationship with his white prison guard–is writing the script. On the face of it, that can’t be a good sign.

Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs is the Founder and Editor of Africa is a Country. He is on faculty of The New School in New York.

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