I, Afrikaner


Annalet Steenkamp


Development support


I Afrikaner, is the filmmaker’s journey into trying to understand her family’s unbreakable connection to the land. Set in rural South Africa, where land issues are contentious, it is about returning home and seeing everything familiar through new eyes. Following four generations, it documents their response to change in an uncertain landscape.

Long Synopsis

Documented over 8 years, I Afrikaner is a challenging portrait of a family trapped in an unsolvable conflict.

The film journeys into how four generations deal with change, as they forge a future in an uncertain landscape. Set in rural South Africa where land is a highly contentious issue, the filmmaker reflects how her family members each represent an era in the country’s history. The textured characters represent the past, present and the future.

The catalyst for the film is when the filmmaker’s grandmother leaves her husband and the family farm, after being brutally attacked for the fifth time. The filmmaker’s parents who have raised seven children on their land, feel beleaguered and under threat of the pervasive and brutal violence threatening the lives of commercial farmers in South Africa.

The film tracks the hopes and fears of the next generation, as her brother Leon and marries his love Christine, after Christine’s father is brutally murdered on a nearby farm.

Despite their fears they have a child, renovate an old farm house and continue to live on the land. The future is reflected in the filmmaker’s young niece, Shanel, who speaks indigenous African languages as well as her home language. Shanel is a product of post-Apartheid South Africa and is immersed in a new culture, but maintains strong ties to the land.

This is an intimate story told from the inside. It’s about a family’s resilience, their relationship to change and their connection to a land they call home