The Harvesters (2019)
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This darkly powerful psychodrama finds fear and tension in its hermetic world of rural farming and religious immersion amid the almost contradictory beauty of its sprawling South African locale.
A slow-burning and increasingly suffocating variation on the myth of Cain and Abel, The Harvesters (Die Stropers) is the impressive feature debut from Greek-South African filmmaker Etienne Kallos.
This sternly moving, vividly shot rural drama draws quasi-Biblical resonance from its tale of teenage foster brothers locked in a familial and cultural power struggle on a remote farmstead.
Vermeulen gives a belter of a performance, never overplaying Janno's inner turmoil. Everything he thinks and feels plays across his entire body, most notably in the film's most potent scene as he has a confrontation and connection with Pieter.
It's a film with uncomfortable weight, one that slowly but surely crushes you in the way any society presses on those who don't fit in.
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