By Sean ELSE


Drama - Completed 2015

Set in 1901, this period epic follows Willem Morkel – a Boer and family man whose wife and son are murdered during the Anglo-Boer War. Captured as a prisoner of war, Willem must survive incarceration in the notorious St. Helena concentration camp and defeat the ruthless Colonel Swannell, at his own game…

    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Sean ELSE
    • Writer(s)
    • Sean ELSE
    • Producer(s)
    • Llewelyn GREEF, Sean ELSE, Henk PRETORIOUS
    • Synopsis
    • During the Anglo-Boer War, Willem Morkel’s innocent wife and only child are murdered by British soldiers. Willem is captured and sent to the St. Helena concentration camp, where he is held prisoner by Colonel Swanell, an imperialist with an insatiable hatred for the Afrikaner nation.

      The prisoners are subjected to unspeakable brutality on the island, constantly degraded and dehumanized by the Colonel and his men. The prisoners are broken down and their spirits weakened, but their hatred and lust for revenge grow stronger with each passing day.

      One day, during a rugby match between prisoners and the Royal regiment team, a young prisoner attempts to escape disguised as a soldier. Discovered in the soldier’s uniform, Colonel Swanell sentences the boy to death. Willem interjects and bravely puts forward an ultimatum: If the Boers can defeat the Colonel’s experienced Royal Regiment in a game of rugby, Swanell must pardon the boy and spare his life. If however, the Royal Regiment defeats the Boers, Willem will face the firing squad. Swanell can’t resist the enticing offer. However, he denies Willem’s proposal and offers a final offer of his own. If the Boers win the boy is spared and Willem dies. If the Boers lose, both Willem and the boy die. Against outcry from the Boer prisoners, Willem bravely accepts the offer. After weeks of training, the day of battle finally dawns and the Boer team bow to their knees and pray for victory. Proudly, they stand and decide on their name: The Springbokken. With
      deep pride and honour, they run out onto a field to play the most important game of their lives. The gruelling battle is fought and victory is won.

      Enraged, Swanell goes back on his word and decides to execute the boy instead of Willem. As the firing squad is formed, a new Colonel from London interjects and relieves Swanell of his position. Swanell explodes with anger and charges towards Willem with his revolver, shoving it against his forehead. As he goes for the trigger, Swanell is shot in the arm and Willem is saved.

      The Anglo Boer War ended on 31 May 1902 and within 5 months, all prisoners were finally released and sent home.