SOUTH AFRICA, LUXEMBOURG, GERMANY | 2019 I COLOR | 117 MIN. | AFRIKAANS, ENGLISH
South-African director Jenna Bass´ third feature film (following High Fantasy and Love the One You Love), Flatland is an explosive mix of feminist road-movie, western and detective story that follows two teenage girls – Natalie and Poppie – on an adventure across the Great Karoo, a vast, semi-desert region that stretches across the Cape. The girls encounter misogyny and toxic behavior at every turn and their sprawling journey gives Bass the opportunity to dissect the complex racial and gender politics of a modern-day South Africa scarred by its history of violence, repression and revolution. Featuring a powerful trio of female leads (including the extraordinary Faith Baloyi, who plays a pseudo-detective determined to track down the two runaways) the film crackles with subversive, feminist energy. So Mayer writes in their review for the Berlin Film Journal: “it´s a shard of optimism that women may well heal the battered psyche of this country”.
Review by: Chloë Roddick
Jenna Bass | London, 1986
Jenna Bass is a writer and filmmaker who grew up in South Africa, where she lives. Her filmography includes the short film The Tunnel (2010) and the collaboratively created films Love the One You Love (2014) and High Fantasy (2017), which have been screened at Sundance, the Berlinale and the Toronto Film Festival. Together with Wanuri Kahiu, Bass wrote Rafiki, which premiered in Cannes in the A Certain Look section in 2018. Flatland is her third feature film as a director and writer.