Premiere of the South African film «Indemnity»

A Cape Town Film Shoot

This South African thriller trades plausibility and originality for a worthy substitute: lots of fun. We at KapWeine are happy about the international breakthrough of this film and toast to it!

The South African Thriller «Indemnity», haunted by the ghosts of many past Hollywood blockbusters, trades plausibility and originality for a worthy substitute: lots of fun.

In this feature debut by Travis Taute, a brooding firefighter with PTSD (reminiscent of countless deranged action heroes) is accused of murdering his wife (à la “The Fugitive”) and goes on the run to uncover a complex techno-political conspiracy (with clear parallels to «The Manchurian Candidate»).

The script is a patchwork of tropes, but Travis Taute’s eye for elegant, surprising action sequences and the charisma of the lead actors make this film an extremely entertaining experience.

Jarrid Geduld plays Theo Abrams, a star of the local fire brigade who takes a leave of absence for health reasons after witnessing two colleagues die in a fire they were fighting. He wakes up one morning to find that his wife Angela (Nicole Fortuin), an investigative journalist, has been strangled – just hours after she received a report about a sinister government conspiracy. Since Theo has been prone to binge drinking and manic outbursts lately, the authorities consider him the prime suspect in her death. So he zigzags his way through Cape Town to elude both the police and some mysterious bald villains.Taute overloads«Indemnity»with subplots about police corruption, Theo’s past traumas and pan-African intrigues of the deep state. But there is an endearing sincerity in the film’s devotion to all this elaborate narrative scaffolding (including some fascinating real-life commentary on South African racial politics) for what is essentially a series of «Mission Impossible» escapades. Taute designs clever spatial set pieces – playing with the architectural possibilities of lifts, skyscrapers and a labyrinthine chemical factory – while Geduld, who performs most of his stunts himself, displays a grimy physicality that is rare in today’s plastic, CGI-driven action world.


Report by New York Times – Edition of 11 February 2022