The Devil's Lair
An intimate insight into South African Cape Flat's gang culture.
"The things I do today are things I saw growing up", confides Braaim. "My dad sold drugs. I saw how they used them, how to portion them, how to buy them and how to hide them." He grew up in an economic wasteland, where few opportunities arise, leaving only crime in their desolate wake. Escaping from this vacuum is something Braaim and his wife desperately want for their family, wishing to avoid past mistakes. "Things I do outside this house are things I don't want my children to learn". But breaking the cycle can seem impossible and juggling his responsibilities towards the gang and his young family is taking its toll on the ageing patriarch.
Braaim's answer is to "fight the war and attain peace" - by killing another gang leader, Poele. "The fastest live the longest. When two killers meet, one must die", he argues. The only skill Braaim has to use to escape the continuum and have "an opportunity to see my children grow up" is murder. "Poele ignited all of this, if we can kill him then everything is over". If Braaim's plan fails, he and his gang die and his wife and children will be left destitute. The stakes are high, he has few friends left alive and so the plan is vital. "Dress some of our men in school clothing, blend in with the school rush. Shoot through the bag, three bullets in the head!" he orders.
With remarkable access the volatile nature of life in a township is laid bare in this jarring obdoc, exposing a harsh world where the mantra "life is about choices" can hold terrible consequences.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION. Winner, Best Documentary Feature at South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAS) 2014
Special Dury Award at Luxor African Film Festival, 2014
Official Selection, Hot Docs, 2013
Opening Film, Encounters Fest, 2013
IDFA WorldView Award, 2013
Best SA Feature Documentary - Jozi Film Awards 2014
Best Director Documentary - Screen Excellence Awards SA 2013
Selected for IDFA Forum - Central Pitch 2012
Selected for IDFA Academy Summer School 2012
Selected for DURBAN FILM MART *Won Best Pitch Award 2012
Selected for GOOD PITCH 2 JHB 2011
The PUMA.Creative Catalyst Award 2011