Based on the life story of John W. Fredericks, who would tell stories to his friends when growing up, and fellow cell mates when he spent time in prison, using those tales as an escape and eventually finding a path out of a life where crime would lead him to a bitter end.
Noem My Skollie is a stark look at the options and choices facing youth on the Cape Flats. Joining a gang is almost a necessity in order to survive, whether outside of or inside prison. It gives protection, and a sense of belonging, yet there are those who have been able to elude this call, and stay clear enough of trouble to lead a happy life.
The film pulls no punches, but still manages to avoid going for cheap shock value, choosing truth and drama instead. While politics is present, it also does not overshadow the story. And a very engrossing story it is, totally drawing the viewer in, and holding them until the very end. A straight forward plot, but one that is well presented, entertaining, and informative as it tells it’s tale of survival, and betrayal, a story of loyalty in the midst of a crime ridden place.
Flying the flag for South African drama, with a serious story, Noem My Skollie is one of those South African films that can do us proud on both the international circuit, and back home. A film every South African, of all races and walks of life, will identify with. A South African must see.
Overall, the disc is of a high technical standard. It is a bit sparse on bonus material, but has a top class main feature.
Noem My Skollie is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.
Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts, and no colour bleed. Detail is maintained in the darker lit scenes.
Viewers with the necessary hardware or software can scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.
Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate. Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with some use of the surrounds to expand the on-screen action.
Navigation is plain and easy to follow, with the main menu offering options for chapters, setup and bonus.
The chapter sub-menus each contain four motion colour thumbnails. These are large, so should help when trying to guess which part of the main feature you are navigating to.
The setup menu offers a choice between the 5.1 and 2.0 soundtracks, with options for English or French subtitles.
The bonus features sub-menu contains just a text link to play the only additional feature on the disc.
Deleted Scenes With Director And Editor Commentary – a few scenes that did not make the final cut of the film, with a brief insight as to why they were removed, and some context as to the scene content. Something that might interest some viewers or filmmakers, but not overflowing with info.