Hatchet Hour, a Ladybug Films production which recently scooped the Best Foreign Film Award at the LA Femme International Film Festival, opens in selected SA cinemas on November 4. The film is presented by the National Film & Video Foundation in association with the Department of Trade & Industry and M-Net.
Based on an original screenplay by Sofia de Fay, Hatchet Hour is written by the swiftly-rising independent South African film-maker, Judy Naidoo, in collaboration with Salah Sabiti, and directed by Naidoo.
The film, which stars Erica Wessels, Petronella Tshuma and Adam Croasdell, tells the story of a fiery lawyer, Belle (played by Wessels), who mistakenly believes her gardener, Amos, to be an assailant, and shoots him dead.
Belle decides not to report the accident, and rather to take her chances in the legal system. She assumes that her brilliant career, as well as that of her legendary lawyer father will be ruined if the courts find against her and charge her with manslaughter. She must get rid of the body and all evidence of the crime.
“This story is an interesting exploration of how far ordinary people are willing to go to keep things in their life on an even keel, and if at all any of our actions can come without consequence,” says director Naidoo. “Is all good rewarded, and all bad punished? In a cynical world is there such a thing as karma?”
Naidoo says that her intention for Hatchet Hour is to take an audience from the comical to the tragic in 90 minutes.
“I want audiences to find humour in the witty cynicisms, and more importantly, laugh at themselves for laughing at the taboo subject matter,” she says. “We laugh at death precisely because we fear it”.
Hatchet Hour is being screened at select venues in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape. Screenings in Durban are at Cine Centre, Suncoast, and at Nu Metro, Pavilion. In Guateng screenings are at Nu Metro, Menlyn Park, Nu Metro Clearwater Mall and at Montecasino’s Movies@. In Cape Town screenings are at V & A Nu Metro and Canal Walk Nu Metro.