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DARLING! - THE PIETER-DIRK UYS : DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Pieter-Dirk Uys travels around South African schools with his self funded AIDS Awareness Entertainment, using humour as his information tools. In the Apartheid era, he used comedy to subvert and satirise the authorities at great personal risk.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Young Julian Shaw knows a good story when he sees one; he was 15 when he saw this one, a Pieter-Dirk Uys show. He decided there and then that he should make a film about this dynamo of a man, whose female alter ego, Mrs. Evita Bezuidenhout, became the most famous white woman in South Africa, as someone who ridiculed the regime. Now he is ridiculing HIV/AIDS in a battle to convince children to protect themselves.

Shaw's documentary benefits from Uys' theatrical sense of entertainment and his eloquence - as well as his sincerity. Shaw only has to point the camera to capture compelling footage at schools, where jokes about condoms are enjoyed while the serious message is quietly absorbed. But Shaw also looks to a wider context and finds credible interview subjects who explain what a joke South Africa's official attitude towards HIV. It's not a funny joke, of course.

The extreme close up is well used to get right inside the subject's space, and the film acquires its pace and structure from Frans Vandenburg's first class editing. The simple but effective use of the director's hand written notebook entries, sketches and info capsules work well as part of the film's fabric.

It's a work of great maturity and compassion and deserves a wide and enthusiastic audience. It may even change lives.

Published August 14, 2008



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

DARLING!: DVD (M)
(Aust, 2008)

CAST: Documentary featuring Pieter-Dirk Uys, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Zachie Achmat, Tessa Uys and Nelson Mandela

PRODUCER: Jonathon Green

DIRECTOR: Julian Shaw

SCRIPT: Julian Shaw

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ian Miller

EDITOR: Frans Vandenburg

MUSIC: Jeff Gibbs, Tony Dupe

RUNNING TIME: 55 minutes

SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted scenes; Q&A with Julian Shaw and Pieter-Dirk Uys; director's notebook gallery

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella (educational distribution through Ronin)

DVD RELEASE: August 2008







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