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Synopsis In this deeply affecting portrait of ordinary courage in present-day South Africa, a single mother—Shirley Adams—struggles to care for her paraplegic teenage son, Donovan, in a depressed district on the outskirts of Cape Town. Wearied but resolute, she desperately clings to him as he withdraws from the world following a suicide attempt, and is hopeful when his spirits are momentarily lifted by the appearance of Tamsin, a pretty but overeager social worker. But when the relationship between Donovan and Tamsin sours, his fragile emotional health declines, and Shirley's faith and perseverance are put to the ultimate test. First-time director Oliver Hermanus's observant camera holds close to its subjects, capturing the claustrophobia, intimacy and hushed anguish surrounding the tender daily routines of a mother and her child.
About the Director Oliver Hermanus was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1983. He began his professional career as a press photographer, covering international events such as the Glastonbury Music Festival and the G-8 Summit. He holds a BA in Film Media and Visual Studies from the University of Cape Town where, as a student, he directed a number of short films and documentaries. Shirley Adams is his first feature film.
Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request
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DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011. Featured in the Global Lens 2010
film series. Learn More