Browsing the archives for the Pieter-Dirk Uys tag.


Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story, The Woman from Sarajevo, and Milk: Three Films

Film, Guest Author: NYCGUY

Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story,  by a very youthful director from Oz,  Julian Shaw, will screen just twice on Thursday, January 29 at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, as part of the 18th Annual New York Jewish Film Festival. Ironically, it’s paired with another doc, The Woman from Sarajevo, about a Muslim woman from the city famous for its Haggadah, the daughter of a Righteous Gentile, who becomes an Israeli and a Jew.

Evita Bezuidenhout, the Most Famous White Woman in South Africa, was profiled by the Gray Lady during the height of apartheid and the hype of its  supporter, Ronald Reagan. (If you recall, he was an actor who added politician to his CV while retaining a, um, TV presence.) 

Mrs Bezuidenhout, the ambassador to a Bantustan just outside her posh suburban Johannesburg door, was and still is satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys. Pieter/Evita remains a national presence as his/her country transitioned to democracy. As Uys – pronounced “ace” notes – “politics no longer kills, it just irritates.”

The son of two concert pianists – a Calvinist Afrikaner father and a Jewish Nazi-Berlin refugee mother – with a London-resident sister who hewed to her parents’ career tradition, Uys is clearly a concert artist him, um, her self.

Nowadays this good friend of two giants, Nelson Mandela & Desmond Tutu, uses the tricks of his/her trade – to battle public ignorance about HIV/AIDS, a serious problem in what is supposed to be the moral beacon of much of the continent.

The audience is the rainbow of South African youth.

They love the Pieter/Evita transformations. These personalities, the subject of a documentary, Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story, by Julian Shaw, will screen just twice on Thursday, January 29 at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, as part of the 18th Annual New York Jewish Film Festival. Ironically, it’s paired with another doc, The Woman from Sarajevo, about a Muslim woman from the city famous for its Haggadah, the daughter of a Righteous Gentile, who becomes an Israeli and a Jew.

If you’ve been culturally closeted of late, you may have missed, but must go see the much praised performance of Sean Penn,  the straight, agnostic son of a once backlisted Russian-Lithuanian Jewish actor/director father and an Italian-Irish Catholic actress mother as the Long Island-reared,  closeted , athletic, funny  Jewish guy in the gray flannel suit – Harvey Milk – who makes a break from New York to San Francisco, at the tender age of 40. The Gus Van Sant eponymous film traces the stirred up ex-New Yorker’s emerging political clout in the western city of seven hills and the Shaar Zahar state.

This emotionally powerful, dramatic work weaves in documentary footage reaches a crescendo in a nationally-observed statewide political referendum that mirrors the recent, closely-watched referendum that rolled back marriage right.

Released on the 30th anniversary of the protagonist’s assassination, Milk can be seen at several New York area theaters.

Perhaps imbibing Milk’s coalition-building skills, a New York State LGBT rights group ESPA has linked with major unions, a tenants rights organization and progressives to
challenge three Democratic State Senators who’ve threatened to block the voters will and much legislation in Albany.

No documentary or dramatic film, as yet.

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