Fatherland is a coming-of-age documentary set in the remote South African bush. It follows a group of Afrikaner boys over 9 days at a military-style camp. However, what starts out as basic training, fitness and camaraderie soon intensifies as the true nature of the camp is revealed and the boys are forced to question their place in the ‘New South Africa’. There’s talk of us versus them. Black versus white. Some may call this documentary “nationalism” but, other people will see it for what it really is. An indoctrination into racism.
The film follows three particular boys who spend nine days at the camp and focuses on the conflicting views developed by the boys, who, under the strict leadership of their camp leader, struggle to find their own identity within their own communities and the within ‘rainbow’ nation at large. The children are forced to participate in a physically and mentally grueling process that tests their values, believes and identities on many levels.
During the clip, one boy clearly states that he’s not an extremist when it comes to being anti-black. It will be interesting to see how his 9 days turn out. According to the leader of the camp, it only takes 9 days to turn someone around.