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The ringing of the bells..........

Based on the play Try For White by Basil Warner, Katrina was the first local production to openly question the race problem in South Africa – with specific reference to the “coloured” community and those who are re-classified “white”. Katrina, a woman of colour, is re-classified white and turns her back on her heritage and her people. She later falls in love with Alex, an alcoholic priest, whose ultimate rejection of her once he has discovered the truth through her firebrand brother Adam, drives her to suicide. One would think that after reading the aforegoing that Katrina is a gloomy, depressing film, but like the closing scenes in Steven Spielberg’s harrowing Schindler’s List, it is strangely uplifting. Excellent photography (with a memorable opening and closing shot of the sun whose rays seem to burn through the camera lens), haunting music and masterful performances from Joe Stewardson as the tortured priest, Jill Kirkland as Katrina and Cobus Rossouw as the seemingly racist Adam September. Others in a fine ensemble cast include future director Katinka Heyns, Carel Trichardt, Ian Strauss, Regardt van den Bergh and Simon M. Sabela.

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