It’s been a good year for the South African film industry. For the past few months there has been a constant stream of local films on the cinema line-up.
And while I am really excited about the spike in local productions there have been some hits and misses.
The Jakes are Missing is a good attempt at trying something a bit different. It’s a romantic comedy with strong themes of family and community.
Janice (Mampho Brescia) and Donald (Pop Jerrod) Banks have fallen out of love. Their music obsessed son Simon (Mpho Sebeng) ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time and witnesses a murder. To escape wannabe gang leader Fred (Jody Abrahams) and he’s awkward crew, the family is placed into the witness protection program.
The city slickers find themselves out of their comfort zone in the quaint little town of Pumpkin Valley (yes, really).
The town has some interesting characters: nosy neighbours (Celeste Nutili, Nicole Bailey, Heidi Mollentze) a suspicious town planner (Dirk Stoltz) the local reverend (Darlington Michaels), his wife (Abigail Kubeka) and their adoptive daughter (Nomzamo Mbatha) who Simon develops a crush on.
Initially the Banks find themselves struggling to fit in, especially Janice. But this little forage into small town life eventually turns out to be the best thing that could happen to this family as they find their way back to each other.