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Film Based on Dis ek, Anna – a Story of Sexual Abuse – Deemed “Borderline Porn”, Rated 18 LSV

Dis ek, Anna by Elbie Lotter (a pseudonym) – translated to English by Marianne Thamm as It’s Me, Anna – tells the gruesome and traumatic story of sexual abuse suffered by a young girl called Anna Bruwer.

She called herself Silent Anna. Because she couldn’t tell anyone about what happened between her and her stepfather. Now, many years later, she breaks the silence, and tells the story of how she was sexually abused by her stepfather. And how she finally managed to overcome it.

It's Me, AnnaThe State vs Anna BruwerDis ek, AnnaDie staat teen Anna Bruwer

 
Published in 2004, the book, based on true events, was an instant bestseller with hundreds of fans writing to the author to tell their own stories, thanking her for sharing hers. This led Lotter to reveal her true identity as Anchien Troskie. A sequel followed in 2012, titled The State vs Anna Bruwer (Die staat teen Anna Bruwer in Afrikaans), in which the story is picked up after Anna shot her stepfather, revealing what happened to her and giving an excruciatingly honest depiction of Anna’s life after her stepfather’s death. Once again the story was told in the form of a novel filled with compassion, based on the author’s own past.

The Afrikaans film based on Dis ek, Anna, which is now also a prescribed work in many schools around the country, is set to be released in theatres in October this year. In his review of the film Charl Blignaut writes for City Press that this film will “rattle cages and open the debate” and says it is the “the antidote to the romping romcom that the Afrikaans industry so heartily embraces all the way to the box office”. He gives it eight stars out of a possible 10.

Watch the trailer:

YouTube Preview Image

The opening scene of Dis ek, Anna (It’s me, Anna) speaks volumes. On the picturesque open roads of rural South Africa, a woman drives her bakkie and listens to the cheerful voice of an auntie on radio talking about truth and lies, warmly and idiomatically drawing in her small town audience.

But dark clouds are gathering and the driver, Anna, fumbles as she lights a cigarette. In a strong, measured performance from Charlene Brouwer, it becomes clear that Anna is an emotional wreck.

Beneath the surface of the perfect Afrikaner setting lies a terrible unease. It’s not a spoiler to say that Anna is heading towards the home of her mother and stepfather with the intention of shooting him in cold blood. He systematically raped her during her teenage years twice or three times a week.

However, controversy has hit the production before it is even officially released.

Dis ek, Anna (It’s me, Anna) was slapped with a no under-18 LSV (language and sexual violence) rating ahead of its critically acclaimed premiere at the Durban International Film Festival a few weeks ago,” Blignaut writes in a follow-up article. In the report the film is referred to as “borderline porn”. This rating will prohibit young people, who it is also aimed at, to see it once it is released. According to the Film and Publication Board (FPB) the sensitive nature of the film, rather than actual scenes showed on screen, led to this decision.

“There are a huge number of South Africans under 18 affected by abuse. If the plan is to break the silence, the ruling is saying that they cannot talk about it and the silence will be maintained,” director Sarah Blecher told Blignaut, responding to the FPB’s decision.

Read the article:

An important new film intended to break the silence around teen sex abuse, based on a book about a true story, which is prescribed in schools, will not be seen by the young South Africans it is all about.
Dis ek, Anna (It’s me, Anna) was slapped with a no under-18 LSV (language and sexual violence) rating ahead of its critically acclaimed premiere at the Durban International Film Festival a few weeks ago.

What do you think – is this unfair censorship by the FPB, or justified when the sensitive psychological elements are considered? Comment down below or join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

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