The psyche of people who have a tough job is really fragile. He brings intensity and brilliant deduction into this character and his scenes. A man mentions the rape of a woman during discussion of a court case. These scenes in particular are perhaps what ultimately defines this film as they show capital punishment in intensely graphic detail and are very disturbing. How do you tell a story about someone who at the same time kills people and is a victim himself? It was intended to be a book about killing and what it does to the killer who kills with the sanction of the law. Hotshot lawyer John Weber reluctantly takes on the seemingly unwinnable case. Chief of these being the sheer horror of the death penalty mechanism and the way that it can sometimes be forgotten that it is ultimately a very violent and disturbing process.
He is injured in a car accident on the way to the cemetery and his workmate absconds, leaving him alone to heave the bodies out of the van and into the graves. We had to find a way to bring all these elements together. There is an emphasis on their fear and distress leading up to the executions, as well as sight of blood and excreta in the aftermath of hangings. Show more Show less Oliver Schmitz directs this South African drama starring Steve Coogan and Garion Dowds. Webber is countered by an icily cold prosecutor, Miss Murray, who argue for the death penalty. It does not shy away from the brutality of the executions, with some of the men terrified, and bowels and bladders being involuntarily evacuated, both before and after the trapdoor opens.
He has been threatened with disciplinary action and dismissal if he talks about his work outside the prison. This is a courtroom drama and we do not see Andrea's character outside the courtroom setting, which is a pity as it could have added some depth to the issues. At this time, the younger generation working in government jobs had no options, they were instructed by the older generation what to do in order to enforce an apartheid society. But her cause is not ignoble. It is clear that on the panel of three judges, the presiding judge was a dissenter in the split vote. It looks at the case of a young white man accused of shooting dead seven black men in a seemingly motiveless scenario.
Set in apartheid South Africa, this courtroom drama is based on true events. Whether they were either traumatized or got to like their jobs, they stopped living normal lives, started fighting with their families. Normally this type of films, they usually take more along the racist road, but this time no, this time the film is not going around, white against black, if not all drifting towards a plea against the death penalty. . In most films of this type the opposing lawyer is generally shown to be a moral degenerate; in this one the prosecution attorney, played by Andrea Riseborough, is often represented as more reasonable that the main protagonist, the defence lawyer played by Steve Coogan. Also of note is that this appears to be from first time writer and a first time director. In one scene, several men are viciously beaten before they are taken to be hanged.
The film is primarily a courtroom drama that touches on capital punishment, moral responsibility, and the mercurial nature of the judicial process. This measured approach is to be commended, as it comes over as more realistic and less manipulative. It soon became apparent that he worked in a high security prison as a guard in the death row unit, where his daily routines had him simultaneously look after the prisoners and also lead them to the gallows. How can one man take such a dual role of friend and executioner, becoming both shepherd and butcher? It is the prominent anti-Apartheid cinema icon of the time and Schmitz wrote a fake script to elude police and censors. Crew: Directed by Oliver Schmitz. The acting is good, the direction is good and if you don't mind court dramas with moral flavour, you could do worse What detail surprised me? Its a dark journey into a barbaric and hopefully much remedied prison system in South Africa. The case is at once clear-cut and utterly inscrutable: Labuschagne himself admits all evidence points to him having gunned down the strangers after their vehicles crossed paths on a rain-lashed evening, though he can neither remember the crime nor conceive of any motive for it.
Given very little training, the guards must watch over the inmates, often forming friend-like bonds, before leading them to their death at the gallows. If you can get past the notion that any 17-year-old would be thrown into working in such a way on Death Row, it is a powerful and compelling story. On trial is a teenaged prison guard and father, Leon Labuschagne Garion Dowds , accused of killing seven black African footballers one rainy night. He has had no training to prepare him for executing prisoners, and no counselling. How can one man take such a dual role of friend and executioner, becoming both shepherd and butcher? He does not know how to do it.
The courtroom scenes were intense and we had to take a lot of time out, all of us. When Leon, a white 19-year-old prison guard commits an inexplicable act of violence, killing seven black men in a hail of bullets, the outcome of the trial - and the court's sentence - seems a foregone conclusion. Based on true facts this movie gives viewers insight into the trial and tribulations of this 17 year old warden. The truth is that it is not a bad movie, but it does not become a great movie, more than anything because I do not believe many of the things. How do you tell a story about someone who at the same time kills people and is a victim himself? And in the 1980s, young South African policemen were whisked away to Angola and other unnamed places and brought back in body bags. The world of the prison — as well as the courts that condemn these men — is presented as it really was. As Weber argues diminished capacity, taking the stance that his client has been psychologically traumatised by his job, he also fights to rid the country of the death penalty once and for all.
The others are all South African subjects, the previous of which, Life Above All, made it onto the Oscars shortlist for best Foreign Film 2010 and won the jury prize at the Dubai International Film Festival 2010 , also winning the Francois Chalais award at Cannes, and the Audience award and Golden Alhambra nomination at the 2011 Granada Film Festival. The prison and execution scenes play out in sickening detail, with a host of convincing supporting actors. Steve Coogan has carved himself a specialty with these films. Coogan essentially wins his case against the system but in doing so gets his client a deal which feels — to me in any case — far too lenient and it is the black under-class who ultimately do not fully get justice. The films of trials are usually boring and must be done very well. In this story, the reason that young Leon Labuschagne became a young warder was to avoid being posted to the front.