Fokofpolisiekar: Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Do is currently streaming exclusively on Showmax. Filmed over four years, this is the definitive documentary on the cult band that revolutionised the Afrikaans music scene.
Starting in 2003, director Bryan Little from Fly on the Wall chronicled the rise of five friends from Bellville who had the (then) laughable idea of starting an Afrikaans punk band.
“It’s all in there. The partying, the death-threats, the rise and fall! Lolzzz…” says Hunter Kennedy, Fokofpolisiekar’s guitarist and lyricist. ‘’We look like shit, we talk a lot of shit, we lose our shit on stage and then the Afrikaners just lose their shit altogether. I think Fly on the Wall managed to expertly capture and preserve the spirit of that era. This film is a time machine for me; same parts embarrassing and exhilarating.”
The documentary will take you back in time as it captures both a young band trying to make a living from music in South Africa, and a new generation of Afrikaners questioning the culture that brought about something as horrible as Apartheid.
On its original release in 2009, the documentary won the Audience Award at Encounters Documentary Festival, screened at the prestigious International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), was released across South Africa in cinemas, and was featured in international media like Dazed.
The documentary kick-started a number of film careers. Little went on to direct U2’s music video for This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now, while his documentary, African Cypher, won both the Encounters audience award and the Durban International Film Festival jury prize. Editor Wim Steytler moved into directing, winning the CFP-E/Shots Young Director Award at Cannes Lions in 2014. And DOP Grant Appleton has worked as a camera operator on international series likes Homeland and Black Mirror, as well as films like Chronicle.
”Often at shows an 18-year-old fan will come to me stating that he/she watched the documentary and how it has changed his/her life and that this is his/her first Fokof show, etc, etc,” says bassist Wynand Myburgh. “This kid was five-years-old when we released our first EP in 2003. I realised that besides the music, the documentary has given the band legs, given new fans a better insight into the earlier years of Fokof. It is for this reason I contacted Fly On The Wall and got the ball rolling for it to be added to Showmax, so now everyone can watch it.”
The band will be running a crowdfunding campaign in the coming months, with the goal of recording their first full-length album since 2006, for release later this year.
“Will literally blow fans away. It’s a socio-political time capsule that will make an even more interesting retrospective 20 years from now. If you’re a South African and you like rock music, it’s a must-see.” Spling
“For rock ‘n roll voyeurs, it’s priceless viewing… A landmark.” Channel24
“Captures the way the controversial band gave voice to a generation of young Afrikaners disillusioned with the church, the state and their Apartheid heritage.” The Callsheet
“For fans of the band, this is the holy grail.” IMDB review