South Africa 2016, 86', Feature Film
Meg Rickards
Boondogle Films, Paul Egan, Kim Williams | www.boondogle.co.za



Tess is twenty and a sex worker in Muizenberg, a coastal suburb of Cape Town. She gets through day-to-day life on the margins of society on a diet of pain killers, alcohol and dry humour. But when she unexpectedly falls pregnant, she tries to overcome the obstacles in her path to fight her way out of her depressing and all too often dangerous lifestyle. Meg Rickard’s adaptation of Tracey Farren’s novel Whiplash uses a hand-held camera to produce subjective images and a raw, unique aesthetic, enabling the audience to share first hand the character’s feelings generated by her violent experiences.

»I read [the novel] Whiplash and became besotted by the uncannily real main character, Tess, and by her journey. (...) the source material is riveting in conveying Tess’ internal thoughts and memories, and so the challenge was to find cinematic ways of getting under Tess’ skin through performance, visuals and sound. The novel is gut-wrenchingly explicit, and likewise, I didn’t want the movie to sanitize Tess’ experience in any way. It’s famously said that a woman born in South Africa has more chance of being raped than of learning to read. Child abuse and rape are terrifyingly ubiquitous. So much so that the stats are diffcult to digest – and we remain numb. I wanted to make a lm that confronted the raw reality of sexual violence in a way that was in your face, impossible to ignore or intellectualize.« Meg Rickards


Meg Rickards
South Africa
Feature film
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