A cop discovers someone close to her may be killing off traffickers in this action-drama film that has just earned a Best Picture nomination at the South African Film and Television Awards.
In 1994, after being arrested for the kidnapping of six girls, Gert de Jager confessed to the crime, but the tape was not released by the dwindling Apartheid government. Time has passed since and an investigation that has resulted in failures leads to police officer Jodie Snyman being taken off a case involving human trafficking. She is instead assigned to help investigate a murder alongside officer Samuel Arendse. The corpse was shot and has letters carved across his body. As Jodie begins to investigate, her methods have caused major friction between herself, Samuel, and their superior, Captain Mululeki.
As Jodie discovers more bodies, she soon realizes that the letters are the initials of children who have disappeared and believed to have trafficked. While Captain Mululeki and Samuel do not condone Josie’s action, her only solace comes in the form of forensics expert Ntombizonke. Ntomi consoles Jodie whenever she is a jam and Jodie has nothing but respect for her. However, as the investigation goes deeper, Jodie is about to discover something extremely shocking that will change the course of the case forever.
From Donovan Marsh, the writer and director of 2013’s thriller Avenged comes this really powerful film that is set in the world of human trafficking. The film’s opening is based on a true story that soon unfolds years later into an unorthodox police officer’s attempt to find kidnapped children and return them to their families. The film is basically two stories combined with the police officer investigating a series of murders that may be connected to a trafficking ring with flashbacks of a young girl and survivor who is actually the murderer is so good that it recently earned a Best Feature Film nomination at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA).
Erica Wessels is excellent in the role of Jodie, the police officer who is hellbent on stopping traffickers even if she has to break a rule or two to achieve her goal. As what looks like the only Afrikaner officer in her unit, her lone wolf ways does cause tension first with her superior and later, with her new partner Samuel, a veteran excellent played by Brendon Daniels. She is heartfelt on stopping the trafficking ring that she learns the story of Gert de Jager, who in 1994, confessed to kidnapping six children and selling them to Iranian businessmen and others.
Hlubi Mboya is also excellent in the role of Ntomi, Jodie’s one true friend who has a connection to her as she is actually a former survivor of a trafficking role. Through a series of flashbacks, we see her go from victim to vigilante as she trains in boxing and other forms of survival skills to discreetly becoming a serial killer who targets only traffickers. Her calling card including shooting her victims and carving the initials of kids who were victimized and never found again. Of course, Jodie is oblivious, and it is Ntomi who attempts to become a connection to calm the tension between her friend and Captain Mululeki, played with sternness by Mothusi Magano. The film has some amazing twists in the third act and brings everything together in such a shocking way.
I am All Girls rightfully earns its nomination and along with Fried Barry and Glasshouse, one thing is clear. South Africa’s film industry is definitely thriving and lead stars Erica Wessels and Hlubi Mboya are fantastic in their roles. This is a very serious film to check out.
WFG RATING: A
Netflix presents a Nthibah Pictures production. Director: Donovan Marsh. Producers: Jarrod de Jong, Wayne Fitzjohn, Jozua Malherbe, Lucia Meyer-Marais, and Simon Swart. Writers: Wayne Fitzjohn, Marcell Greeff, Emile Leuvennink, Jarrod de Jong, and Donovan Marsh. Cinematography: Trevor Calverley. Editing: Lucian Barnard.
Cast: Erica Wessels, Hlubi Mboya, Deon Lotz, Mothusi Magano, Brendon Daniels, J.P. du Plessis, Lizz Meiring, Leshego Molokwane, Nomvelo Makhanya.