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Film Review – Die Vier Hoeke (Four Corners)

Director: Ian Gabriel
Screenplay: Terence Hammond and Hofmeyr Scholtz
Cast: Brendon Daniels, Jezzriel Skei, Lindiwe Matshikiza and Abduragman Adams
Genre: Crime

Four Corners tells the story of released prisoner Farakhan (Brendon Daniels) who was affiliated with a gang called the 28, but no longer wants anything to do with them. He just wants to find his son. But upon returning to his deceased father’s home, he finds several gang members staying there, only now they call themselves 26. But eventually he gets them out and goes about his business looking for his son. Eventually the gang accepts that he is done with gang life, but trouble still seems to follow him.
Meanwhile 13-year old chess player Ricardo (Jezzriel Skei) is trying by all means not to get involved with the 26 crew that rules his neighborhood, especially their leader Gasant (Irashaad Ally), who recruits local boys to do his dirty work in exchange for lots of cash. But smart and soft spoken Ricardo sees chess as both a way of life and a way of avoiding the thug life. But he is soon caught in the middle of Farakhan (his father), who wants to help save him and Gasant who wants to recruit him and get revenge on Farakhan.
There are also two additional plot lines of police officer Tito (Abduragman Adams) who is chasing a serial killer preying on teenage boys and trying to stop the gang violence in the Cape Flats, and doctor Leila (Lindiwe Matshikiza) who just returned from England for her father’s funeral, wanting only to leave and go back to England. Instead as it turns out, she hooks up with her childhood friend Farakhan. All four these characters intertwine and make this film as dramatic as it should be.

This film is just so full of drama, every scene forced me to the edge of my seat biting my finger nails. The story explicity shows the audience how your birth place can seal your fate. The imagery of the film is clear and I loved the parts where it went into slow motion to emphasise a specific event that is going to happen. But sometimes I felt that some scenes are just unnecessary, maybe the director wanted to make the  film longer. But I loved the acting and the fact that all the actors are local, no foreign actors trying to master the South African accent or township vernacular.
Four Corners really depicts the life of a coloured township or suburb, whether it be in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban or Pretoria. I am not just saying that because of hearsay, I actually lived for a month in a coloured township and that month was enough for me. And imagine living there all your life, how do you escape that?
People who have not been exposed to township life are quick to say it does not matter where you were born, if you want to make something of your life you can. How many children actually get out of situations like that. Just a handful.
A very intense film that shows unadulterated South African street violence. This is a must see!

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