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The Story of an African Farm

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1870s. South Africa. Life goes on as normal at the farm on the slopes of a Karoo Kopje. Fat Tant Sannie (Karin Van der Laag) looks after her charges, the sweet Em (Anneke Weidemann) and the independent Lyndall (Kasha Kropinski), with a strict Biblical hand. It was Em’s late father’s dying wish.  Gentle Otto (Armin Mueller-Stal), the farm manager, runs the farm and cares for Waldo, his son. Waldo (Luke Gallant) is bright and is busy designing a model of a sheep-shearing machine that he hopes will make them all rich.

Things change when the sinister, eccentric Bonaparte Blenkins (Richard E Grant) with his bulbous nose and chimneypot hat arrives. This stranger believes that Tant Sannie is wealthy - after all she owns a farm - and it’s not long before he’s thrown the narrow-minded but simple woman into an amorous whirl. But his motives are all too obvious to the children and he makes enemies of them. And, worst of all, he connives to get Otto fired by lying to Tant Sannie. Defeated, Otto returns to his room where he dies of a broken heart.
While Tant Sannie’s heart’s awhirl, he’s cruel to the children. He ransacks Otto’s room looking for the pile of money he thinks he has stashed away. He creates a reason to give Waldo a thrashing to within an inch of his life. He destroys the model of the sheep-shearing machine. 

However, Lyndall prepares for battle. She suggsts that their cousin, Trana (Elriza Swanepoel), comes to visit. She sets a trap for Bonaparte.

Bonaparte is under the impression that Trana is even wealthier than Tant Sannie. He plans her seduction in the front room, without knowing that Tant Sannie is within earshot, He’s exposed as a fraud and has to make an undignified exit from the farm, chased by Tant Sannie, a delighted maid, Waldo’s dog and Oswald the ostrich who knew all the time that Bonaparte was a thoroughly bad egg!


Type of film
Running Time
97 mins
David Lister
Izidore Codron
Izidore Codron
Josh Gavin
Bonnie Rodini, Thandi Brewer
Director of Photography
Peter Tischhauser
Chris Martin
J B. Arthur
Principal Cast
Richard E. Grant, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Karin van der Laag, Kasha Kropinski


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Last updated 7th September 2006

Production Company

Karoo Horizon Pictures
31 Camp Street, Tamboerskloof
Cape Town 8001, South Africa

T+27 21 422 2607
F +27 21 422 0149