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#OnTheBigScreen: 'Vergeet My Nie', 'Ordinary Love' and 'Bhai's Café'

Films opening at South African cinemas, this week, include local films Vergeet My Nie and Bhai's Café; Ordinary Love; Queen & Slim; and Blumhouse's Fantasy Island.

Vergeet My Nie

After a dreadful break-up, a strikingly cultured student (Marguerite Van Eeden) stuck in the small-town of Potchefstroom, packs her bags for the adventure and bright lights of London. She falls head over heels in love with a handsome, barefoot Namibian (Sean-Marco Vorster), but allows her fears to get the better of her. When he knocks on her door years later, with promises of horizons and life together, she can play it safe and choose the alluring city lights or she can risk it all for sunsets, sand dunes and barefoot love.

'Vergeet My Nie' director André Velts talks the universal appeal of love stories

Daniel Dercksen chats with director André Velts ahead of the release of his new film, Vergeet My Nie in local cinemas tomorrow, 14 February...

By Daniel Dercksen 13 Feb 2020

Directed by André Felts and scripted by Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo.

Bhai’s Café

Bhai’s Indian Corner Cafe has been an institution in the Cape Town suburb of Wynberg for more than 40 years, and together with his wife, Mary, Magan Bhai Patel runs the little shop with a twinkle in his eye and an ever-present practical joke up his sleeve. But when the all-too-suave Patrick Amanzi arrives with an offer to purchase the property, with intentions of redeveloping the neighbourhood, Bhai and Mary are faced with a difficult decision which threatens to pull the family apart. To make matters even worse, Bhai’s beautiful daughter, Rashmi, has unknowingly started dating the handsome young Patrick, and when the truth comes out and intentions are misinterpreted, the chaos that ensues starts to threaten the community too. In the end, Bhai and his eclectic family will have to pull together and rally the community behind them if they wish to save the day and give a new-found love the chance to blossom and bloom.

After successful festival showcases at the Durban International Film Festival as well as the Joburg Film Festival in 2019, the much-anticipated South Africa-meets-Bollywood film caters to all sectors of the South Africa film audience with its drama, romance and good humour.

Directed by Maynard Kraak from a screenplay by Darron Meyer and Aaron Naidoo, based on a story by Rawoot and executive producer/actor Mehboob Bawa.

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Ordinary Love

A story of love, survival and the epic questions life throws at each and every one of us.

Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville star as Tom and Joan, a married couple with an easy relationship and a depth of love – which expresses itself through tenderness and humour. When Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer, the course of her treatment shines a light on their relationship as the pair face the challenges that lie ahead and the prospect of what might happen in the future.

It is written by award-winning Northern Irish playwright Owen McCafferty and co-directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn.

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Queen & Slim

Joining a legacy of films, such as Set It Off and Thelma & Louise, Queen & Slim is a powerful, consciousness-raising love story that confronts the staggering human toll of racism and the life-shattering price of violence. Set amidst the upheaval of modern-day media-fuelled America, Queen & Slim is a searing exploration of the country’s current social and political climate through the unfiltered lens of a defiant but life-affirming story of Black love.

Directed by Melina Matsoukas (in her feature directorial debut) and written by Lena Waithe, from a story by James Frey and Waithe.

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Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island

In this ultimate wish-fulfilment supernatural horror the enigmatic Mr Roarke (Michael Peña), makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come true at a luxurious but remote tropical resort. But when the fantasies turn into nightmares, the guests have to solve the island’s mystery in order to escape with their lives.

Directed by Jeff Wadlow and written by Jillian Jacobs, Chris Roach, and Wadlow, it is based on the 1977 ABC’s television series of the same name created by Gene Levitt.

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About Daniel Dercksen

As a freelance film and theatre journalist for more than 30 years, published playwright and creator of the independent training initiative The Writing Studio, Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. Visit