The beautiful love story, Uitvlucht, is loosely based on real life experiences of Clara Joubert van den Bergh. The film tells the story of Anna, a teacher at a farm school in the Eastern Cape. The school itself is struggling to survive while Anna is has her own demons to face. This film is about God’s unending mercy and grace, a story about how Love conquers all. Marelise Jacobs spoke to director Regardt van den Bergh about his new film Uitvlucht, how he chooses projects and what is his favourite movie.
How challenging is it to create a film where the subject matter is based on personal experience?
Regardt van den Bergh: The challenge is always to remain true to the integrity of the story. Often one changes things to suite a better dramatic through line or you alter a plot point, but here one has to trust that the truth is more valuable than story. So, for me I try to stick to the real events and not add gratuitous fiction. It's not always easy to make oneself vulnerable.
How did your own Christianity influence your decisions as director?
Regardt van den Bergh: I think my faith caused me to accentuate the Christian themes, but it was important for me not to be sanctimonious about it. I'm always keen to depict Christianity as part of everyday life in a sincere way and not a preachy way. It's just the way some people live their lives.
“...It's not always easy to make oneself vulnerable...” - Regardt van den Bergh
How do choose your projects, what is important to you as film maker when reading a script?
Regardt van den Bergh: I'm always looking for "real" stories. By that I mean real people going through real challenges. True stories often tell of ordinary people going through extraordinary circumstances. For instance, a down and out divorcee, who through her own brokenness, rebuilds a wounded community with love and compassion. Such stories are the ones that inspire me and everyone who sees the films.
What expectations do you have of your audience, how do you want film goers to experience your films?
Regardt van den Bergh: I expect the audience to view the film without any bias, especially because it's a faith based film. I would love the audience to disappear into another reality for 90 minutes and vicariously experience the love and lives of the suurvelders of the Eastern Cape.
Which directors do you draw inspiration from, and what is your favourite film?
Regardt van den Bergh:I love Igmar Bergman, Zhang Yimou, Madjid Madidi, Inniritu, Woody Allen, Greengrass, Akira Korusawa, Alfred Hitchcock and many more. My favorite film is probably Akira Korusawa's Ran or Zhang Yimou's Road Home, the most beautiful love story.