Die Stropers (2019)
If you’re looking for action-packed entertainment, Afrikaans drama movie Die Stropers is not for you. It’s a layered web of intrigue that burns slowly as it tells the story of a boerseun named Janno (Brent Vermeulen). His peaceful world on the family farm is turned upside down when his parents adopt Pieter (Alex van Dyk), a troubled young boy from the city.
From the onset there’s a lot of tension between the two teenagers, as Janno – who’s a good, honest, hardworking youngster – clashes with the newcomer, whose biological mother is a scarlet woman. Another point of concern for Janno is Pieter’s substance abuse issues and the trouble that is sure to follow to the farm. But Janno is compelled by his mom to be a mentor and so, despite their differences, he takes Pieter under his wing and tries to help him.
Patience and concentration are needed when watching Die Stropers because it is intricate and the way that the characters develop is important. It was released internationally under the title The Harvester and critics like Boyd van Hoeij from hollywoodreporter.com loved it because the message isn’t in your face: “By not suggesting the emotion of every moment, the music helps the film avoid slipping into melodrama. This gives Harvesters a more mythical and timeless air as the characters and their predicaments slowly become one with the equally unforgiving landscape.”