'Of Good report' gets full marks

THE cast and crew of the first movie to be banned post-apartheid received an overwhelming reception at the Of Good Report premiere in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.

The Film and Publications Board banned the movie at the eleventh hour at the Durban International Film Festival last month, but the producers did not take that lying down – and appealed and won the case.

The board had said the movie was promoting child pornography because of a scene involving a teacher and a pupil who had sex in the opening 30 minutes.

On Saturday, Bay moviegoers – curious to see the homegrown production – packed The Bridge Ster-Kinekor to see what the controversy was about. They had an opportunity afterwards to mingle with the cast and crew during a question-and-answer session.

Producer Luzuko Dilima of New Brighton Pictures said he was happy about the turnout.

"PE overwhelmed me. I am speechless with the reception we got. This was the biggest turnout we got so far."

Asked if the publicity around the movie being banned had made it more popular, Dilima encouraged the public to watch it for themselves.

"It did something positive in terms of marketing but that was not the kind of marketing we were looking for.

"There was a smear campaign from people who don't know art and banned it, but I forgive them," Dilima said.

"There is a lot to learn about abnormality that we have accepted in SA in this movie. You have to watch it three times to get it."

Umhlobo Wenene show host Putco Mafani sang the movie's praises.

"It is like a mirror in front of our faces. The story is doing 10 times better than [television drama series] Yizo Yizo did in educating people. It says, 'South Africa, this is who you are and you better fix yourself'," he said.

"SA should see this movie because it is a true reflection of our society and addresses the challenges faced by children. I believe these guys will be called up for the Oscars."

Another moviegoer, Brian Udemans, agreed. "It is the kind of taboo subjects we don't want to talk about. I am glad it is being put out there," he said.