The Stick Film Details
Overview: During the apartheid era in South Africa, a young naive soldier is assigned to a unit of racist white soldiers. After they annihilate a remote village led by a witch doctor, the spirits of those they’ve killed target them.
Tagline: Out of the African beauty… evil and violent
Review: Made at a time when South Africa was heavily embroiled in a big punch-up in Angola, The Stick was bound to incur the considerable wrath of the authorities. In fact, worse was yet to come (Cuito Cuanavale) but we didn’t know it then. The Stick is often compared to Oliver Stone’s Platoon but it is both a grittier and yet less satisfying portrait of men at war. It suffers greatly from having the players dressed in non-SADF uniforms, operating in an nameless African country, and yet it’s obviously supposed to be the SADF in Angola. As a result the film is reduced to allegory and we are left with the situation that no film-maker (and few writers) have adequately explored the effects of the Angolan war and South Africa’s long-winded role in it. But the performances are superb and accurate. The O’Grady character is typical of the sociopaths that one found in just about every SADF platoon, no matter which branch of service. The tension between the rank and file, and the underlying tension between the English-speaking and Afrikaans conscripts is finely pitched. As a record of the SADF experience, The Stick is pretty good. But, still, it could use a re-make.
Country: South Africa
Language: English, Afrikaans
Duration: 90 min
Genre: Action, Horror, War
Also known as: I peripolos,La Section,The Stick,Platoon Warrior,Dødsmerket,Gränslandet,Pesadelo de Guerra,África em Chamas