In the world the of South African entertainment news, ZAlebs has the pleasure of being made privy to a lot of films. The latest bit of film news that has come to our attention is that of 21 ICONS South Africa. On Saturday the film house revealed the portrait of former South African president FW de Klerk and at the same time aired the short film discussing the making of the portrait on SABC3.
The second of 21 portraits by Adrian Steirn features De Klerk in a meditative lotus position high up in a mountain pass in the Western Cape. The portrait speaks of a man at peace on a number of levels – both with what lies behind him and his role in it, and his confidence in the future of South Africa. It is a uniquely frank portrait of an elderly man not scared to show his vulnerability. It’s one of the few images of the former president we’ve seen in such peaceful manner.
“I wanted to make sure that this portrait of De Klerk was a side that no one else had seen before,” says Steirn. “I wanted to shoot something that really represented what he had done for South Africa. I thought it would be such a great mix of a man alone, and a man at peace.
In the film we see FW de Klerk reminiscing about the particular day in parliament that he put South Africa on a new course and reveals what gave him the courage to continue on that difficult road, as well as why he would advise anyone against trying to emulate him.
“What really kept me sort of positive throughout the whole process,” he says in 21 ICONS South Africa, “was firstly the fact that I succeeded in taking the majority of whites with me. They could’ve kicked me out … the fact that I succeeded in convincing them to take the courageous route, which we’ve taken, was for me my inspiration.”
The proceeds from the sale of the signed portrait will go to the FW de Klerk Foundation, which he has established since his retirement from active politics. “The FW de Klerk Foundation has two main focuses,” explains De Klerk. “The one is the upholding and strengthening of our constitution, because it was a historical accord … the other is to continue to foster constructive, solution-oriented dialogue. We must not shout at each other — we must start talking to each other as we did during the negotiations.”
FW de Klerk’s portrait by Adrian Steirn for 21 ICONS South Africa, titled “A Man Alone”. Is the second of a series of 21 portraits captured by the photographer and film-maker
Below is the trailer of the short South African film in case you missed it on SABC 3