Saturday, October 27, 2018

Meerkat Moonship (Meerkat Maantuig) - 2018 Portland Film Festival Movie Review

The Movie: Meerkat Moonship / Meerkat Maantuig

The Director: Hanneke Schutte

The Cast: Anchen du Plessis, Themba Ntuli, Pierre van Pletzen, Rika Sennett, Drikus Volschenk, Hanle Barnard

The Story: Gideonette, a timid and visionary girl, lives with her parents in a small town. Her dad Gideon, battles daily to allay her fears about the curse of the Gideon de La Reys.

The Review:
The best way I can describe South African director Hanneke Schutte's second feature film is that it takes the dark fairy tale stylings of Guillermo del Toro and turns them into an inspirational coming of age story that gives you hope and a renewed spirit about the wonders of humanity. I love how Schutte sets the stage with her young heroine trapped in a dark and frightening reality that she can't escape from. There is danger around every corner and she firmly believes that a curse is about to take her life at any moment just as it has taken her namesake ancestors before her.

We've all been there. Stuck by fear and feeling trapped with no way out. The reality that Gideonette creates for herself is all too familiar and really hits home which I suppose is what really drew me in to begin with. What Schutte ends up showing us is that, no matter how bad we believe things are or what monsters might be lurking in a darkened corner, we can overcome that fear. Even if it takes getting some help and changing our perspective, there is possibility where we could only see a monster waiting at the end of a dead end hallway.

"I decided right there that he'd never be part of my story again." - Gideonette

Her story is our story and I love how Gideonette learns that she has control. Control of everything. Her fear, her emotions, her well being. It's all hers to shape and mold into the future. I love everything about this movie. The writing, the characters, the performances, the cinematography. the locations, the costumes. All of it is filled with this magical, fairy tail quality that is inescapably beautiful yet grounded in reality. It's all just perfect and I want everyone to see it.

Meerkat Moonship is an official selection of the 2018 Portland Film Festival. coverage of the 2018 Portland Film Festival.

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