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About the film

An engrossing, coming-of-age story, Toorbos centres around 18-year-old Karoliena, who lives in the impoverished white community in the Knysna forest. Forced into marrying Johannes, a shopkeeper, Karoliena struggles to adjust to her new life in town. The film portrays a courageous woman in a conservative Afrikaans society in the 1930’s, who finds her voice and follows her beliefs. The Second World War is imminent and the government has plans to remove and rehouse the poor forest community. In a sense, a chilling prelude to the forced removals under apartheid. For those who loved Fiela se Kind, screened by SAFF last year, Toorbos offers another chance to enjoy a film based on a novel by Dalene Matthee.

Officially entry for South Africa to Academy Awards for Best International Film

René van Rooyen


André Scholtz, Dries Scholtz


Brendan Barnes


Elani Dekker, Stiaan Smith, Ira Blanckenberg, Ivan Abrahams, Clare Marshall, Gretschen Ramsden


Bonus Content

Ricky Human, SAFF program director, speaks to writer and director, Renee van Rooyen about the making of this beautifully created film based on a novel by Dalene Matthee.

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