Anti-hero gets under your skin

The tale of Samson of Boschberg, John Kepe is one I discovered through seeing Jahmil X.T Qubeka’s ode to the mysterious hero-villain character that is believed to have lived in the 1900s in Somerset East.

In the two-hour long cinematic exploration of Kepe’s life, Qubheka seems to be telling the story from the other side, which is welcome because in every story there are three versions: your version, my version, and the truth.

Sew The Winter to My Skin is a tale about the enigmatic John Kepe, who became the self-proclaimed Samson of the Boschberg Mountains. 

Kepe (Ezra Mabengeza) spends his time terrorising white farmers, stealing their livestock and supplies to give to impoverished local communities. General Botha (Peter Kurth) a struggling World War II veteran becomes obsessed to capture Kepe. 

With the help of the law enforcer Black Wyatt Earp (Zolisa Xaluva) we go on the journey of the capture of Kepe and see things from his perspective.

One of the thrilling things about this film is that it is almost completely silent, outside of the few words and music worked into the story. The lack of dialogue I realised forces the viewer to pay attention to certain things, like the facial expressions on the character’s faces, the clothing worn, and the location of the film.

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Sew The Winter to My Skin opens today.


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