New film Skemerson portrays grief of losing a loved one
7 May 2019
Grief at losing one’s mum is the universal theme that lies at the heart of ‘Skemerson’ (‘Sun Cry Moon’), the new film directed by Phillip Rademeyer and written by Pietie Beyers, which opens nationwide on Friday, 3 May 2019.
‘Skemerson’ had its Cape Town premiere on 15 April at Canal Walk Nu Metro. “The cinema was packed and the screening was attended by doctors from the region, many of whom work in the mental health sector,” says Helen Kuun, MD of Indigenous Film Distribution. “‘Skemerson’ has an important story to tell and is one of those films that people can turn to in times of loss as it offers a kind of emotional respite. It’s both sad and funny, and has moments of lightness that represent all of the positive aspects of life against the backdrop of loss.”
The film tells the story of a young man, Sella (Beyers) who decides to take his own life. He is a doctor whose mental state has been triggered by the trauma of losing his mum after he nursed her for some time. Not only is his grief overwhelming but he also feels responsible for her death and blames himself. He stands on the 216m high Bloukrans Bridge, the iconic arch bridge located near Nature's Valley, about to meet his fate, when he hears a young woman’s laugh. Emma (Anneke Weidemann), is taking care of her frail mother (acclaimed actress Elize Cawood), who is dying and does not have long to live. Their meeting is the beginning of a weekend that will change their lives forever.
“Grieving is the physical, emotional and mental demonstration of loss, and it’s normal to experience profound feelings of grief after losing your mum, because of the unique relationship we share with our mothers,” says director Philip Rademeyer. “’Skemerson’ delves into the elements of the emotional struggles around death, dying, grief, and bereavement. Grieving is an individual process, and your own coping skills, personality traits and relationship with your mother will influence the grieving process for you. In the film, those who are grieving laugh, cry and reminisce to facilitate healing. These feelings and responses are nothing to be ashamed of. The film explores opportunities for light to shine where there is darkness, and for hope and joy to exist – even where there is sadness.”
‘Skemerson’ is produced by Niel van Deventer (Dis Ek, Anna) and Pietie Beyers. The film stars Pietie Beyers (Binneland, Sy Klink Soos Lente), Elize Cawood (Vir Altyd, Die Wonderwerker) and Anneke Weidemann (Die Wonderwerker, Die Ongelooflike Avonture van Hanna Hoekom). It is directed by Philip Rademeyer (Wild, Klippe wat Val).
‘Skemerson’ is distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution.