tue 16/07/2024

Triomf | reviews, news & interviews

Triomf

Triomf

Brutal South African parable about the shock of the new

White trash fear and social intolerance in mid-1990s South Africa
"Change" has been the watchword of the past few months, the standard flown hopefully aloft by every political party. A week spent anxiously waiting for a political conclusion, worrying about its impact, and heatedly debating its validity has made for a more than usually vulnerable sense of British nationhood: an apt time indeed for the UK release of Triomf, a brutal South African parable about political prejudice, social intolerance, and above all the fear of the new.
"Change" has been the watchword of the past few months, the standard flown hopefully aloft by every political party. A week spent anxiously waiting for a political conclusion, worrying about its impact, and heatedly debating its validity has made for a more than usually vulnerable sense of British nationhood: an apt time indeed for the UK release of Triomf, a brutal South African parable about political prejudice, social intolerance, and above all the fear of the new.

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There is a lot more warmth and sympathy in this film than your review suggests. Lionel Newton is, as you say, 'marvellously disturbing', and the visceral interweaving of Afrikaans and English has a violent poetry all its own. The film is not an easy watch. It is not a perfect film, but it is a compelling and stimulating one, that keeps looming back into the mind long after you've seen it. So many contemporary films can barely be remembered an hour after you've seen them. That certainly isn't an accusation that can be levelled at this one. If you want to see a film about the new South Africa that goes beyond anodyne cliche - that opens up a whole world you know nothing about - go and see 'Triomf'.

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