From the Academy Award®-nominated director Darrell James Roodt comes a touching, yet inspirational story of hope amidst the darkest shadows life casts upon our way. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Cape Karoo, the story unfolds in high drama and transcends human insecurities. This heart-warming film stars top local acting talent such as Angelique Pretorius (Stoute Boudjies, TV’s Kruispad), Andre Frauenstein (Eternity), Deon Coetzee (TV’s Egoli, TV’s 7de Laan), Altus Theart (Bakgat!, TV’s Kruispad), Chris de Clerq (TV’s Egoli, TV’s Dit Wat Stom Is) and Chante Hinds (Jakhalsdans, TV’s Begeertes). The movie also prides itself with independent South African producer Anton Ernst, who has created an impressive body of work over the past 10 years including the 2010 sleeper hit Jakhalsdans, an Afrikaans language love story.
STILTE, shot amidst the Red Stone Hills which are nestled in the mighty Zwartberg, brings a promise to each and every one of us. The film is produced by Anton Ernst and Christianne Bennetto and the director of photography on director Roodt’s side was Pierre Smith.
ANTOINETTE VAN WYK has everything to live for. She is a young, beautiful and a very talented singer. She is on the verge of realising her dreams, when a terrible tragedy strikes. Both her parents are killed in a violent home invasion and she too, is left for dead. She survives the ordeal and relocates to a farm in Oudtshoorn to stay with her aunt and uncle.
STILTE is the story of her road to recovery. It’s not an easy journey: traumatised by her ordeal, she refuses to speak, let alone sing. Her aunt and uncle are baffled by this. The doctors have said there’s nothing physically wrong with her but Antoinette will not utter a word, preferring to communicate with a notebook. This is a constant source of grief, especially for her Aunt who desperately wants ANTOINETTE to be happy again.
When it seems there is no hope, ANTOINETTE encounters the local pastor after she leaves his church service prematurely one Sunday morning. His name is PETER and he’s no ordinary pastor – he’s young, in his mid-twenties and has a lust for life and helping others. He tries to make her understand the bigger picture: that her life was spared for a reason. But she won’t have any of it. The pivotal scene in the story occurs when she blurts out that she has lost her faith, in everything, including God. PETER is amazed – she can speak! ANTOINETTE swears him to secrecy as she doesn’t want anyone to know including her aunt and uncle.
But the ice has definitely been broken: now that she’s found her voice, she is able to open up more and more to PETER. She accompanies him on his various errands as a pastor in the district and is humbled by the amount of good work he does in the community. It makes her realise that there’s a bigger world outside of these terrible walls she’s built around herself. She starts to blossom and the road to her spiritual and mental recovery seems certain. Until the past comes back to haunt her…
Firstly, her manager, DION, comes to visit. He’s got a one track mind: superstardom for ANTOINETTE and the bundles of cash that come with it! He tries to persuade her to return with him, but it doesn’t end well. There is lots of drama, including a showdown between DION and PETER.
Secondly, her parent’s killers are caught and she has to return to the city to identify them. She doesn’t want to go but PETER says it is a necessary step in her closure of this terrible incident and that he will accompany her for moral support. She agrees. It is on this trip to the big city that her and PETER bond on a deeper level.
Returning to Johannesburg, she is finally convinced by PETER that her life was spared for a reason. Her voice! She decides to sing again and use her popularity to take a firmer stand against the growing spectre of crime.
Ultimately, STILTE is an inspiring human drama of a young woman’s journey from grief to joy, as she regains her faith in the spectacular, timeless landscape of Oudtshoorn.