‘I’m not a white colonialist’ – Krotoa writer addresses criticism

Makers of local movie‚ Krotoa‚ which is based on the life of a Khoi-Dutch interpreter in the early Cape colony has strongly defended the flick against backlash over its portrayal of the Khoisan culture‚ which some social media users have labelled an “insult”.

Actress Crystal Donna Roberts plays Krotoa in the film Krotoa. Picture VIA KROTOA FILM FACEBOOK

The film tells the life story of a young Khoi girl‚ Krotoa who worked in Jan Van Riebeeck’s family and eventually became an interpreter.

The writer told TshisaLIVE that they expected the film to create debate but did not anticipate the backlash.

“As a story-teller I think it’s important to sculpt well rounded characters‚ not one-dimensional characters. So in earlier versions of the script Jan Van Riebeeck was quite villainous and Krotoa was cerebral and not tangible enough as a character that people would be able to identify with‚” said writer Kaye Ann.

Viewers took to Facebook to voice their opinions of the film with some people pointing out that the portrayal of Krotoa was “demeaning to women” and that it told the story of Khoisan people through a “white perspective”.

Kaye Ann said it bothered her that people felt this way and needed to understand that she attempted to tell a story of very complex characters.

“This greatly bothers me. I wrote the script along with Margaret Goldsmith. The story choices were mine. The visual execution of that story did not steer away from the script. So am I the white colonist? I grew up in the Bishop Lavis and Elsies River townships in Cape Town and I do not identify as a white colonialist‚” said Kaye Ann.

The film opened in local box offices on August 4‚ after it scooped eight awards international film festivals and was screened around the world.

The film’s director Roberta Durrant said‚ “The story is one that has been longing to be told and it is important for Krotoa’s story to be seen. However‚ people also need to be aware that Krotoa the film is a fictional story inspired by real life events. It stemmed from a documentary we had done. It raises very important societal issues like identity and issues of land”.

Source: TMG Digital.

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