The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A tribute to André Brink

Martin Buysse, Breyten Breytenbach,Euzhan Palcy,,Karina Magdalena Szczurek and Gustav Brink at the memorial service for Andre Brink
Martin Buysse, Breyten Breytenbach,Euzhan Palcy, Karina Magdalena Szczurek and Gustav Brink at the memorial service for Andre Brink in Cape Town


Film director Euzhan Palcy attends André Brink memorial service
Euzhan Palcy, director of A Dry White Season and black female pioneer of cinema, visited South Africa to pay tribute to the late André Brink on Monday March 2 at the University of Cape Town.
In 1989, Palcy (originally from La Martinique, a French island in the Caribbean) wrote and directed the anti-apartheid film A Dry White Season adapted from the best-seller by South African writer, André Brink. The story is centered around the social movements of South Africa and the 1976 Soweto riots that made known to the world the horror of apartheid.
A Dry White Season is her second film, and the first produced by a black female film director for US studio major MGM. She brought Marlon Brando out of retirement for a cameo role which continued Palcy’s signature work of dramatic stories of historical social change.
To prepare for the film, Palcy defied the “special branch” of the apartheid police with the help of Dr. Nthato Motlana, Nelson Mandela's personal physician, who smuggled her into Soweto. She received the Orson Welles award in 1989 for the movie.
Palcy is the only black director (male or female) who managed to produce a feature film about apartheid in the United States during the 27 years Nelson Mandela was in prison.
Some of Palcy’s other films include Sugar Cane Alley (1983), Simeon, Ruby Bridges and The Journey of the Dissidents. Her first film, Sugar Cane Alley, won numerous awards internationally including the prestigious French César Award for best first feature film, making Palcy the first black artist to win this “French Oscar”.
She has also received several awards for her work including Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honor, Officer in the National Order of Merit, Knight of Les Arts et des Lettres and the Gold Medal of Martinique.
This legendary director travelled to Cape Town to attend the special memorial service for André Brink, her longtime friend, and shared some unique reflections on the esteemed writer.


"Goodbye for Now Andre………..
The South African writer Andre Brink, whose celebrated novel, A Dry White Season, I had the great honor to bring to the screen in 1989 with MGM, left us on 6 February 2015.
Dear Andre, to salute the intrepid warrior that you are, I will revisit three significant moments of our beautiful friendship…
When in 1984, passing through France, you agree to meet me: I see that as a sign of providence. Armed with my strongest arguments and an unswerving determination, I wait for you.
I have 40 minutes to convince you of one thing, of which for me as a young filmmaker I felt sure: you had written this novel for me.
You arrive and unexpectedly it is you who has something to say, and you who tells me to my great surprise that you screen my film Rue Cases Nègres (Sugar Cane Alley) in secret, to your students.
Five years later (1989), the film A Dry White Season is shot and edited. MGM organises at my request, and in strictest confidence, a projection of the film for you in London. I chose to allow you to see the film in the company of my producer. Upstairs I pace the floor. It will be the first time that we meet in person since our meeting in Paris 5 years earlier. You had asked me to be careful: in your country your telephone was being tapped and your mail - when they deigned to give it to you - was opened. So there was no way that I could indicate to you my presence in Soweto (under a false name), with the help of N’Thato Motlana the ‘Soweto
Doctor’ and close friend of Madiba, much less to let you read the adaptation that I had done of your book. Finally the lift indicator moves and my heart drops to my feet. The door opens and there you are, moved, tears in your eyes and automatically you take me in your arms and hug me, whispering …’Thank you, Thank you, it’s a masterpiece!’
‘It is your book that is the masterpiece: thank you for your faith in me’, I tell you.
Some time later, much later, in April 2004, we find ourselves in Martinique to fulfill one of your dearest dreams: to finally meet the man who has in the 1960s, encouraged you to give up your choice of exile, in favour of your ‘return to your native land’: the poet and philosopher, Aime Cesaire. On this special occasion you deserved a big surprise: The projection of A Dry White Season where a Caribbean audience of 900 people gives you a standing ovation. You are moved to tears. You describe this trip as…’one of the most important events’ of your life.
Andre, we had planned to get the whole team together this year, 2015, in South Africa: you the author, me the director, the actors of the film, and the public, for the South African premiere more than 25 years after the film was made. Although you are no longer physically with us, we will do it because you are forever present through your legacy and in our hearts. Until then Andre, we say goodbye for now."
Euzhan Palcy
February 2015
 

 


A Tribute by Karina Magdalena Szczurek
André and I met at the “1st Joint Symposium: South Africa in Perspective” which took place at the University of Salzburg in December 2004. One of the key events of the symposium was a screening of the film A Dry White Season, directed by Euzhan Palcy, and starring Marlon Brando, Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae, Jürgen Prochnow, and Susan Sarandon.
It was the first time I saw André cry in public. When he spoke about the writing of the novel, the experience of it being made into a film, and then his attendance of its screening in Euzhan Palcy’s home, Martinique, he literally wept and his audience in Salzburg with him. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Despite being a world-famous author, a charismatic lecturer, and outspoken intellectual, André was very shy. But he was never afraid to show his emotions, not even in public.
He shared the story of how incredibly important it was for him to see the film with a black audience for the first time, to experience their reactions along his own, to see the emotional response and the impact the story had on the viewers. He spoke about the different ending and how it made complete sense during the screening. He always understood that his medium was the novel and that the translation of it into the medium of the film would be accompanied by artistic license. He completely trusted the director. The film was a meeting of two creative minds, each telling the same story in their own way, a synthesis of visions. One of those rare life-defining moments.
Karina Magdalena Szczurek

Embassy of France in South Africa

A tribute to André Brink

Film director Euzhan Palcy attends André Brink memorial service
Euzhan Palcy, director of A Dry White Season and black female pioneer of

cinema, visited South Africa to pay tribute to the late André Brink on

Monday March 2 at the University of Cape Town.
In 1989, Palcy (originally from La Martinique, a French island in the

Caribbean) wrote and directed the anti-apartheid film A Dry White Season

adapted from the best-seller by South African writer, André Brink. The

story is centered around the social movements of South Africa and the 1976

Soweto riots that made known to the world the horror of apartheid.
A Dry White Season is her second film, and the first produced by a black

female film director for US studio major MGM. She brought Marlon Brando

out of retirement for a cameo role which continued Palcy’s signature work

of dramatic stories of historical social change.
To prepare for the film, Palcy defied the “special branch” of the

apartheid police with the help of Dr. Nthato Motlana, Nelson Mandela's

personal physician, who smuggled her into Soweto. She received the Orson

Welles award in 1989 for the movie.
Palcy is the only black director (male or female) who managed to produce a

feature film about apartheid in the United States during the 27 years

Nelson Mandela was in prison.
Some of Palcy’s other films include Sugar Cane Alley (1983), Simeon, Ruby

Bridges and The Journey of the Dissidents. Her first film, Sugar Cane

Alley, won numerous awards internationally including the prestigious

French César Award for best first feature film, making Palcy the first

black artist to win this “French Oscar”.
She has also received several awards for her work including Knight in the

National Order of the Legion of Honor, Officer in the National Order of

Merit, Knight of Les Arts et des Lettres and the Gold Medal of Martinique.
This legendary director travelled to Cape Town to attend the special

memorial service for André Brink, her longtime friend, and shared some

unique reflections on the esteemed writer.


Goodbye for Now Andre………..
The South African writer Andre Brink, whose celebrated novel, A Dry White

Season, I had the great honor to bring to the screen in 1989 with MGM,

left us on 6 February 2015.
Dear Andre, to salute the intrepid warrior that you are, I will revisit

three significant moments of our beautiful friendship…
When in 1984, passing through France, you agree to meet me: I see that as

a sign of providence. Armed with my strongest arguments and an unswerving

determination, I wait for you.
I have 40 minutes to convince you of one thing, of which for me as a young

filmmaker I felt sure: you had written this novel for me.
You arrive and unexpectedly it is you who has something to say, and you

who tells me to my great surprise that you screen my film Rue Cases Nègres

(Sugar Cane Alley) in secret, to your students.
Five years later (1989), the film A Dry White Season is shot and edited.

MGM organises at my request, and in strictest confidence, a projection of

the film for you in London. I chose to allow you to see the film in the

company of my producer. Upstairs I pace the floor. It will be the first

time that we meet in person since our meeting in Paris 5 years earlier.

You had asked me to be careful: in your country your telephone was being

tapped and your mail - when they deigned to give it to you - was opened.

So there was no way that I could indicate to you my presence in Soweto

(under a false name), with the help of N’Thato Motlana the ‘Soweto
Doctor’ and close friend of Madiba, much less to let you read the

adaptation that I had done of your book. Finally the lift indicator moves

and my heart drops to my feet. The door opens and there you are, moved,

tears in your eyes and automatically you take me in your arms and hug me,

whispering …’Thank you, Thank you, it’s a masterpiece!’
‘It is your book that is the masterpiece: thank you for your faith in me’,

I tell you.
Some time later, much later, in April 2004, we find ourselves in

Martinique to fulfill one of your dearest dreams: to finally meet the man

who has in the 1960s, encouraged you to give up your choice of exile, in

favour of your ‘return to your native land’: the poet and philosopher,

Aime Cesaire. On this special occasion you deserved a big surprise: The

projection of A Dry White Season where a Caribbean audience of 900 people

gives you a standing ovation. You are moved to tears. You describe this

trip as…’one of the most important events’ of your life.
Andre, we had planned to get the whole team together this year, 2015, in

South Africa: you the author, me the director, the actors of the film, and

the public, for the South African premiere more than 25 years after the

film was made. Although you are no longer physically with us, we will do

it because you are forever present through your legacy and in our hearts.

Until then Andre, we say goodbye for now.
Euzhan Palcy
February 2015


André and I met at the “1st Joint Symposium: South Africa in Perspective”
which took place at the University of Salzburg in December 2004. One of

the
key events of the symposium was a screening of the film A Dry White

Season,
directed by Euzhan Palcy, and starring Marlon Brando, Donald Sutherland,
Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae, Jürgen Prochnow, and Susan Sarandon.
It was the first time I saw André cry in public. When he spoke about the
writing of the novel, the experience of it being made into a film, and

then his
attendance of its screening in Euzhan Palcy’s home, Martinique, he

literally
wept and his audience in Salzburg with him. It was one of the most moving
experiences of my life. Despite being a world-famous author, a charismatic
lecturer, and outspoken intellectual, André was very shy. But he was
never afraid to show his emotions, not even in public.
He shared the story of how incredibly important it was for him to see the

film
with a black audience for the first time, to experience their reactions

along
his own, to see the emotional response and the impact the story had on the
viewers. He spoke about the different ending and how it made complete

sense
during the screening. He always understood that his medium was the novel
and that the translation of it into the medium of the film would be
accompanied by artistic license. He completely trusted the director. The

film
was a meeting of two creative minds, each telling the same story in their

own
way, a synthesis of visions. One of those rare life-defining moments.
Karina Magdalena Szczurek

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
_________________________________________________

October 2017 Edition

 
 
_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Baz-Art graffiti exhibition at the French Residence in Pretoria On Wednesday 4 October 2017, Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr. Christophe Farnaud, and NGO BAZ-ART hosted an exhibition... <|> African Union and Germany agree on further cooperation Addis Ababa, 5 October 2017 The annual bilateral consultations on the development Cooperation between the African Union (AU) and Government of... <|> South Africa and Turkey commit to grow trade and investment 6 October 2017 South Africa and Turkey have committed to strengthening trade and economic relations to increase two-way bilateral trade... <|> Tango Spectacular Rodolfo Mederos Trio in South Africa 10 October 2017 Tango legend Rodolfo Mederos from Argentina will be delighting South African music lovers with his trio this month. Mederos... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> AU needs active participation to advance Africa 10 October 2017 The African Union (AU) needs solid support from its member states and organs to help the continent achieve political and economic... <|> Building Bridges between Europe and Asia: Dr Kiril Avramov   2017-10-12 The New Bulgarian University (NBU) is one of Bulgaria’s top-ranked universities at the heart of Bulgaria’s capital,... <|> Russian heroes honoured 12 October 2017 At a ceremony to hand over names of Russians who lost their lives in the pursuit of freedom for South Africa, Ambassador of Russia, HE Mikhael Ivanovich... <|> GHANAFEST SA 2017 - A resounding success 20 October 2017 A bird's eye view of the Magnolia Dell Park in Pretoria, South Africa, on Saturday, 7th October 2017, was characterized by the colorful... <|>   Diversity – what? 17 November 2017 I bump into a lot of industry initiatives. Not many of them are noteworthy. This one is! Two years ago, I was invited by a friend to a small... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.