Picture
PROTEUS
(South Africa, Canada/ 2003/ 100 min)
John Greyson, Jack Lewis

Set in 18th century South Africa, the film dramatizes the true story of a white Dutch sailor man and a black Khoi herder, both prisoners on Robben Island, who were later executed for sodomy. The Khoi were part of the Hottentot tribal group and considered “untouchable”. This retelling of their story, based partly on court transcripts, uses intentional anachronisms of dress, and objects like transistor radios, typewriters and jeeps, to illustrate the larger theme that homophobia and racism are still very much present in today's world.

Cinematography - Giulio Biccari; Editing - Roslyn Kalloo; Sound - Stef Albertyn, David Appleby; Music - Don Pyle, Andrew Zealley; Main Cast - Rouxnet Brown, Neil Sandilands, Shaun Smyth



John Greyson made his big breakthrough as a filmmaker with Zero Patience in 1993, followed by his most famous film, Lilies. With composer David Wall, he created Fig Trees, a video opera for gallery installation, about the struggles of South African AIDS activist Zackie Achmat, the film version of which won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary at the Berlinale. Greyson is known for the flamboyant theatricality and thematic complexity of his filmmaking style, and the frank depiction of gay themes in his work.

Jack Lewis, born in Cape Town, was politically active from an early age. Banned for 5 years in 1976 whilst a student at Rhodes University, he subsequently lectured in Economics at UWC. In 1993 he formed Idol Pictures with Zackie Achmat, and co-founded the Out In Africa South Africa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 1994. He has directed and produced many documentaries, before co-directing his first feature
Proteus.