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Deon Lotz
Charlie Keegan
Michelle Scott
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Oliver Hermanus.
Oliver Hermanus.
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98 minutes

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...and the beast

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François (Deon Lotz), a South African man with a family, is a mess of contradictions. An unrepentant racist and homophobic despite repressing his own homosexuality, he starts stalking handsome Afrikaner Christian (Charlie Keegan). Soon his daughter's suspicions are aroused.

Even though he engages in gay orgies and fancies an old friend’s son, South African family man Deon Lotz is as homophobic as he is unregenerately racist. However, obsession gets the better of him and he starts stalking the unsuspecting Charlie Keegan around Cape Town until daughter Roeline Daneel becomes suspicious. Tackling a contentious topic with sensitivity rather than sensationalism, this study of suppressed lust and post-apartheid fury occasionally comes close to pushing its political luck in discussing the emasculation of the Afrikaaner buck. Director Oliver Hermanus also allows the odd scene to drift. But his compositional sense is exceptional and the aura of seething frustration and grounded performances (notably Lotz) make this as insightful as it is intriguing.

Despite that title, there's an ugly power to this study of obsession and anger.

Reviewed by David Parkinson

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