A true reflection of South Africa, A must-see for all South Africans, Very enlightening, Brilliant — a few comments that Gateway News captured from people after the preview screening in Port Elizabeth last week of Heartlines’ new movie Beyond the River.
Based on a true story of two South African men — one from an informal settlement, and one from an elite suburb — who both have a burning desire to win the Dusi canoe race, this well-made and engrossing film opens in cinemas nationwide on April 28.
Beyond the River is part of a broader media-driven campaign called “What’s your story?” that encourages South Africans to share their stories with each other in a way that will encourage trust and understanding in the hope of healing divisions in our country.
Addressing about 700 people at the preview at the Boardwalk Convention Centre last Thursday, Heartlines’ Brian Helsby said the campaign aims to get three million people to share their stories with each other where they work, pray, study or play.
Beyond the River is not only a conversation starter for the campaign but also a movie that South Africans can be proud of. The quality of the movie is of an international standard and the preview audience’s attention is held throughout the movie.
The audience was clearly caught up in the story as evidenced by cheering for the characters and the hearty laughter.
The cinematography captures the natural beauty of South Africa while the story shows the resilience, struggles and humour that South African’s have.
Inspired by a true story, Beyond the River is evidence that with a bit of effort it is possible to break down barriers and bridge culture gaps.
The lead roles of Duma and Steve are played by Lemogang Tsipa and Grant Swanby. Both actors bring a sincerity and depth to the characters that draws the audience in and makes the characters relatable.
Swanby does not shy away from the raw emotional pain that is needed to complete the portrayal of Steve and take the audience on the emotional journey of healing from a tragic loss.
Tsipa ensures a fine balance of awkward tension and humorous incidences between the characters of Duma and Steve. This allows the audience to feel the awkward tension but provides some comic relief.
Here are some more comments on the movie that we captured from some of the people at the preview:
Malcom Bailes, PE branch manager of Bosal:
“Awesome, incredible, amazing message. Such a true reflection of South Africa. If you want to see how we can work to bring South Africans together, then watch Beyond the River.”
Buhle Dayimani, Youth at Family Life Church, Walmer Township
“Great to see two different worlds, urban and township.”
Sixolile Tyelebana, Youth at Family Life Church, Walmer Township
“Very enlightening about what happens in other townships. Inspiring to see.”
Howard Tiltmann, IT consultant:
“Brilliant! Well laid-out storyline. The quality of the movie compares well to mainstream movies.”
Heather Tiltmann, Facilities manager at St John the Baptist Anglican Church:
“The story is really good. Grabs your attention. The acting is of good quality and the interaction between the characters has you really rooting for them. A must see for all South Africans. Beyond the River is a South African movie about South African’s, not only about race issues but also about family issues.”