Based on a classic, controversial novel about three children brought up on an isolated South African farm in the 1870s by a strict religious aunt. Featuring Richard E Grant.
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"The unclean shall not pass over it but it shall be for others.
< "Whoever walks the road, all day through,
"shall not go astray.
"Stand in the ways and see."
'Sometimes I don't understand life and why it has to be so hard.
'My life was never the same again after my parents died.
'They gave me so much and then left me feeling alone, living on this farm with my cousin Em
'and her awful stepmother, Aunt Sannie. Or Tant Sannie, as the Afrikaners always say.'
Damn the heat.
'Em's father also died and now we only have each other.
'Our only escape from that woman was the farm manager.
'Uncle Otto and his son Waldo were our best friends.
'She treated them very badly, but they were much better than her, and our only hope.'
You, what are you doing here, boy? Go herd some sheep!
Otto, get that son of yours working!
Run along. Come, boy!
Always sitting around.
Lazy little devil.
'I'd been begging Tant Sannie to send me to school so I could get away from her. She finally gave in.'
-Why d'you want to go?
-If you're clever you can do whatever you want.
-I don't want to go.
-You don't need to.
When you're 17 you'll get all the sheep and be rich like Charlotte.
Everyone will want to marry you. But I have nothing, I must learn.
Lyndall, you're like a sister. I'll give you some of MY sheep.
I don't want YOUR sheep. I want things of my own.
-But you have things.
-Don't say that, Lyndall, it's not true.
-Yes, it is.
-Look what I found.
It's yours, to keep.
It's only a crystal, Em. ..But it's beautiful. I'll take it to school with me.
Come see something, Waldo.
-But the sheep.
-The sheep can wait. Come on, Waldo.
(If she catches us she'll be angry.)
-She always is.
-What d'you want to show me?
When I'm grown up I'll wear diamonds.
-Real diamonds in my hair, just like her.
-But where will you find them, Lyndall?
-There aren't any diamonds on this farm.
-There's nothing on this farm.
Where ARE those girls?!
She mustn't find you in here!
I knew it!
I knew you would be in my bedroom.
My special plate! Broken!
-You ungrateful children, English man's ugliness, you broke...!
-It was me, Tant Sannie. Me.
Out, get out! You ungrateful children. After all the love I've given you! Lyndall!
One more step, one more wrong step and no more school for you.
I take good care of you like I promised Em's father on his deathbed.
My most special, broken.
I could have beaten her!
Man, help me!
Give me that!
..I should never have married Em's father.
I'd have beaten her but last night I heard rustling and grunting behind the door. Know what?
It was that bloody Englishman, Em's father, coming to haunt me.
He ghosts by night, AND by day.
And he wouldn't want to see his child beaten. Not him.
Weak, foolish man.
Lyndall, why don't YOUR beads fall off your needle?
-Come and eat.
-Where's that cousin of yours?
-Enough with those books now!
'It gave me so much pleasure, irritating Tant Sannie with my books.
'She was really scared of them.'
Let us pray.
GIRLS LAUGH HAPPILY
-Come on, Waldo, let's go see the bushmen.
When will you finish your book?
And then what will you read?
Unless Tant Sannie buys us more books... But she won't. She saves every penny for herself.
GIRLS: She's a miserable old woman!
You know, they never had books.
I think they're funny little people.
Imagine. They used to kneel here, painting.
They must have looked very hard to find the juice to make the paint.
Now the Boers have gone and shot them. And all the buck have gone.
Only we are here. But we'll be gone soon.
And only these rocks will stay looking at everything.
Who is he?
DOG BARKS, THEY GIGGLE
'Then everything changed for us.
'A stranger arrived on the farm and convinced Uncle Otto to let him stay.'
I'm not a child and I wasn't born yesterday.
You can't take me in. One wink of my eye and I see everything.
I'll have no tramps sleeping on my farm. By the devil, no.
(His nose, it's so big!)
He is no tramp, Tant Sannie. He's a highly respectable man.
Where's his horse? If he had money he'd have a horse.
Men who walk are thieves, liars, murderers, rum's priests and seducers.
I see the devil in his nose, and look at his hat!
And to come walking into the house as though he arrived on horseback!
Dutch do not like people who walk in this country.
My dear friend, I would've bought another horse
but crossing a river I lost my purse and £500.
I spent five days on the riverbank trying to find it, but couldn't.
If I had I'd have bought another horse.
No, he goes tonight. See how he looks at me, a poor unprotected woman?
If he wrongs me, who'll do me right?
I think if you didn't look at her quite so much it might be advisable.
-She might imagine you liked her too well.
-Certainly, I won't look at her.
You might not be a Scotch man or anything of that kind, might you? It's the English she hates.
ACCENT CHANGES: My dear fellow, I've not a drop of English blood in my veins.
-I'm Irish, every inch of me. Father Irish, mother Irish.
You might not be married, might you?
If you had a wife and children now, Dutch do not like those who are not married, no.
-I have a dear wife and three sweet little children.
-Oh, I know.
Two lovely girls and a noble boy, Siobhan, Megan and Ruaridh.
My, um... All Englishmen are ugly.
Did you ever see such a red rag-nosed thing, with broken boots?
Take him to your room, but I'm warning you, Otto, any sin he commits I'll lay at your door.
Bonaparte Blenkins, Ma'am.
May the Lord bless and protect you.
But for you I'd be sleeping the fields crowned by the dews of heaven.
You see, Tant Sannie? He's a good man. Good man.
'Uncle Otto always gave people the benefit of the doubt,
'but how could he be so sure of this man, so far from his home?'
-It's strange he should have such a great name.
Not Blenkins, Em, Bonaparte.
# Bonaparte, Bonaparte
# My wife gets sick in the middle of the week but Sundays not. #
-It's a funny name.
-There was a man called Bonaparte once.
I know. The prophet the lions ate.
No, Em, he was the man I like best, the greatest man who ever lived.
-What did HE do?
-He wasn't born great.
He was common like us, but he was master of the world. An emperor.
He must have been very happy.
He had what he wanted and that's better than being happy.
He was powerful so everyone feared him. Finally they beat him.
-They sent him to an island far away and kept him there.
-He was all alone, with only guards watching him.
-He never got away. He died in that island.
-The end is so sad.
It's a terrible, hateful ending, and the worst is, it's true.
Only fairytales end nicely.
-You've read it.
-The book only says what he did. Not what he thought.
-I know what he thought. Books don't tell you everything.
-No. They never tell you what you want to know.
The book says where we are standing right now used to be a lake.
Those hills were the shores of lake.
When I was little I used to think that a giant was buried under it.
But now I know the waters must have made it. ..But how?
-Waldo, God put the hills there.
-How did wanting bring it here?
-Because it did.
Uncle Otto, how long did that man say he had been walking?
Since this morning. A gentleman not accustomed to walking. Horse died, poor fellow.
-Do you believe him, Uncle Otto?
-Believe him? Why, of course I do.
He himself told me the story three times.
But if he had walked for only one day his boots wouldn't look like that. And if his horse...
He told me himself.
Look how he lies there, worn-out.
That's a poor fellow. Poor fellow.
-(I think you think too much. You'll wake him.)
I think he might be lying. Goodnight, Uncle Otto.
Waldo, it's not so difficult. ..Oh, yeah.
Oh, it's good. >
Oh, no, no, no, no Waldo. It's enough for today.
You should practise a little bit more. Mmh?
-You were a student of history, I see.
-Yes, perhaps a little.
So you will doubtless have heard of my great, my celebrated kinsman, Napoleon Bonaparte.
Yes, of course.
I, sir, was born on this hour on an April afternoon 3 and 50, 40 years ago.
"There's only one name for this child", said the nurse.
He has the nose of his noble kinsman and so Bonaparte Blenkins became my name.
Bonaparte Blenkins, yes, sir!
There's a stream on my maternal side that connects with a stream on his maternal side.
The connection is one which cannot be comprehended
by one unaccustomed to the study of aristocratic pedigrees,
-but the connection is close.
-I didn't know Napoleon was Irish.
On the mother's side. And, eh, how long have you been on this farm?
Oh, 50 years.
There's the work you see and...
A woman - say no more, my friend.
I understand that snare.
That honey pot of delicious...
There was a child.
Tant Sannie has been good to us.
And Waldo's mother was sent...
No, run away. She let her stay.
She's a good woman. She has given me sheep every year since I arrived.
Generous woman. And a wealthy one.
The admiration of a good woman is above diamonds.
I think I shall wander out into the benign air and taste the gentle cool of morning.
Exercise is always beneficial.
Uncle Otto, how do we know he's related to Bonaparte?
That's what I hate. "How that's true?" How do you know that anything is true?
Because we are told so.
If you begin to question everything, wanting proof, proof, proof, what will we have left to believe?
How do you know that God talked to Moses? Accept that Moses wrote it.
< Help! Help!
Somebody help me, please!
It turned to me, it looked me in the face.
My life hung upon a cord. I walked in the valley of the shadow of death.
I never knew so young a bird to chase before.
-Unless he doesn't like you.
-I'm sorry. You are frightened. The birds are bad things, too.
-You know that.
-I forgive you, my friend. Whatever the consequences, I forgive you.
Give me your hand.
-I bear you no ill feeling.
-You are very kind. Thank you.
My nerves. Always delicate.
Highly strung. Broken, broken.
You could not spare a little wine?
-A little brandy, perhaps?
-Oh, yes. Yes.
For my friend to be attacked so...
The bird has never done this before.
-And... How do you feel now?
A little more, thanks.
My old friend has seen his final days.
You have protected me from the burning rays of summer, the cutting winds of winter.
Henceforth, bare headed must your master go.
Goodbye, old hat. Goodbye.
-Uncle Otto, you don't have to...
It's not what you have been accustomed to, but it might be of some use.
My friend, you are allowing yourself to feel guilty on my account.
I shall go bare headed.
No, I have no use for that.
None at all. Please take it.
Then I'll take it.
The hat may not be as good as the old one was, but it will serve.
-Yes, it will serve.
-Oh, it's good.
I, eh... I should be on my way...
when the sun gets lower.
But you do not have to leave.
Tant Sannie has given her consent and...
Oh, my friend, I must seek work.
Idleness for only a day is unacceptable and painful.
Work, labour. That is the secret of all true happiness.
Yes, but tomorrow is the Sabbath. And you cannot go and look for work on the Sabbath.
Oh, yes. The blessed Sabbath.
You must find it hard, without the administration of the Lord's word in this desolate spot.
Well, yes. We do our best. We meet together and I say a few words and perhaps I am not wholly lost,
-How extraordinary. At home I do the same.
Oh, those were blessed times.
Were that they might return.
Then it's settled. You will stay for the service tomorrow.
I will speak to Tant Sannie, yes I will. And then...
You might take the service in my place, if you want to.
My friend, it would give me great pleasure,
but these worn-out clothes, I could not possibly enter the Lord's house.
'At times like these, Uncle Otto's good nature could not be borne.'
Not the latest fashion,
-but I think it's perfect.
-If you insist, but only if you insist.
-Please, take it.
-Thank you, sir.
Tell me, my friend,
who's the girl, exactly?
Both her parents dead... It's a poor thing.
Oh, the Lord bless and protect her.
-I like him.
He tells interesting stories.
-He tells lies, that's what he tells.
-He'll be gone soon, Lyndall.
I hate this place. I hate the dust and dirt and the stones people think are diamonds.
It's where we live, Lyndall.
I hate it.
I can't wait to leave.
The last time I was in Germany.
It was many years ago. Let me see.
I think it looks good.
Clean as a whistle.
'There was one thing Tant Sannie had profound reverence for.
'And that was Sunday service.'
Good morning, Tant Sannie.
-Bonaparte takes the service today.
-'Appearances can change a man, but not his heart.'
Oh Lord, bless this house and all who are in it.
'But what would Tant Sannie know about heart?'
He looks just like the...
I wish I hadn't called him a thief and a Roman Catholic.
So, let us pray.
Happy are those
who reject evil.
Happy are those who give freely to others.
Who do not think only of themselves.
-Happy are those who believe in the Lord...
..and follow his guidance.
This is a man of God.
Do you think he remembers that I shook my fist in his face?
All liars shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
We shall not, my dear friends, detain you long. Few, very few words, are all I have.
Oh, my beloved friends,
who would leave this earth?
Here are joys innumerable.
Your clothes, beds, delicious food, my friends.
Our precious bodies were given us to cherish and to love.
Oh, let us do so.
Oh, let us care for and love them.
May the Lord add his blessings.
So, let us sing.
# The King of love my Shepherd is
# Whose goodness faileth never
# I nothing lack if I am His
# And He is mine forever
# Where streams of living water flow
# My ransomed soul He leadeth... #
He is like the elders, you know?
The ones that sit in the top pew in the church on Sundays.
The nicely oiled hair, so holy and respectable.
The little swallowtail coats.
There's no doubt that he is a respectable man.
-Good day, madam.
-Take a seat.
-Oh, it's hot.
-It is indeed.
Oh, you will, I trust you, madam, excuse this exhibition of feelings,
but this picture
reminds me of my...
best beloved, my dear wife, saint of heaven.
This beautiful woman is...
Ah, yes. The eyes, the mouth, the nose, the chin.
Fair expression. Extraordinary.
Put more sugar in.
The pudding is ready and the meat is on the table.
Thank you. You will excuse me, Tant Sannie.
But he is married. All the good ones are taken.
You can see that he's a God-fearing man and he knows how to behave himself.
If he's ugly, would the Lord make him?
And are we to judge the Lord's handy work?
It is better to be ugly and good, than pretty and bad.
Though, of course, it is nice if one is both.
I think it doesn't matter.
-You said that you were looking for a situation?
Just supposing, really supposing, if someone should make an offer
to you to become schoolmaster on the farm and teach one or two children.
That would give you, let's say, £40 a year.
Would you accept it?
That would depend on circumstances.
Money is no consideration with me.
Should I find a place where a gentleman would be treated as a gentleman I would accept it.
However small the remuneration.
There would also be a room to sleep in. Quite comfortable.
And food, of course.
That would be something to consider.
I think I shall go up and see Tant Sannie.
I go up often on Sunday afternoon and have a general conversation.
To see her. I mean, nothing in particular.
Yeah. I shall go up.
I go up to Tant Sannie.
You promised. You promised Em's father before he died that you'd send us to school.
Now, you don't need to go. You've got Mr Blenkins to teach you.
I never meant for Lyndall not to go to school. I thought he could teach Em and...
He's not a teacher, he's a liar.
-Show some charity. The Good Book says...
-Not to suffer fools.
-He is a learned man.
-He is not!
He's a liar and a thief!
That's enough! Go to your room!
-That girl could do with some discipline.
-She needs to learn.
No, just things and Waldo too, he needs to learn.
He's clever, Tant Sannie. And I was hoping that
he could join the girls.
Your pup? To learn? Yes.
-At my expense?
-Yes, with my help.
-You take me for a fool?
-I take you for a kind woman, a good one.
And you will do the right thing.
I mean, the boy is clever.
Isn't it enough that I have your shame on my farm?
I know my shame, Tant Sannie.
And it is not the boy's fault.
And now you want to teach him like a white man?
He's a good boy and he needs a chance.
Why did he have to come to this farm?
-Don't worry, Lyndall.
Maybe you can go to school next year.
I hate him. It's taken me so long to make Tant Sannie send me to school,
now he comes along and spoils everything.
It won't be so bad. We can go to school together.
It'll be fun, I promise.
When I'm grown up I'll know everything.
I'll be rich, very rich.
I'll have all the power and no-one will be able to hurt me.
"man, having separated himself,
"seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
"A fool's lips enter into contention and his mouth calleth for strokes.
"A fool's mouth is his destruction...
"..and his lips are the snare of his soul."
What's out there that you find so interesting, Lyndall?
I was wondering if you knew the signs of the Zodiac.
-That's not a fit subject for a girl to talk about.
-D'you know who Copernicus was?
-History is this afternoon, Lyndall.
-But you do know who Copernicus was?
Yes, I do.
He was a Roman emperor who burned Christians alive and a golden pig,
who, himself, was eaten by worms while alive.
-Where do you think you're going?
-Lyndall, please don't go.
We'll see what Tant Sannie has to say about this, won't we, Em?
That girl's more trouble than she's worth.
To walk out like that on such a respectable gentleman.
You have beautiful feet, Tant Sannie.
Such delicate feet. I like feet like that.
They're just feet.
Such delicate ones.
I'll talk to the girl.
Big women have always been so good to me.
Is your wife also big?
You must always put pure cream in his coffee, you hear me?
Em, what's the matter?
Lyndall made him angry and he's given me Chapter John to learn.
-He said he'll teach me to behave myself when Lyndall troubles him.
-What did she do?
Whenever he talks, she just looks at the door like she doesn't hear him.
Today, she just walked out.
She said she would never come back
to the school again, and she always does what she says.
And now I'll sit here every day alone.
Maybe Tant Sannie will send him away.
No. He'll never go away.
-You should stop crying. I'll tell you something, a secret.
Promise you won't tell anyone?
-I've made a machine.
Yes, a machine for shearing sheep.
Where is it?
Here. This is a model. When it's done, they'll have to make a larger one then maybe
-I'll make enough money to send Lyndall to school.
-Show it to me.
-No. Not till it's done.
It's a beautiful secret.
Hurry up, our girl. Come on!
Get that chimney clean!
It's been long since Bonaparte visited us.
You should be finished fixing the corral tomorrow.
Maybe you could come and help me when you're finished with the sheep.
Or maybe I could help you?
-With that thing you keep the secret.
Oh, that's good.
That's very good for the shearing, yes?
-But it was meant to be a secret, a surprise for you.
It's a good surprise, Waldo.
My wife! My wife!
Go to him, Otto. Help the poor man.
What is it, my friend? Tell me, please tell me.
My dear wife!
My saint, my angel is dead!
Go on, Otto, comfort him.
Poor man. Maybe I can help.
-Please let me see.
-It's hard to lose your woman, I know.
-I know just the thing - pop.
Pop and brandy. Bring it to me now.
Get it from my room,
Don't cry. I know how it was.
When my first husband died they could do nothing with me
till I'd eaten pig's trotter and honey and little roasted cake.
You're very kind to comfort me.
She was my wife.
The woman, my wife, I could live.
But the woman is my wife, I could die.
-My sweet wife, will I ever see her again?
-Pop and brandy, that's the answer.
No, no, I can't.
I shall die, I shall die.
Nothing should pass my lips, I should be suffocated.
-Bless you, dear lady.
-'Bonaparte's wife conveniently died.
'She probably never existed in the first place.'
-'He must've mailed the letter to himself.'
Now he'll stay for ever.
He's cruel. I hate him!
He is maybe hard,
but Mr Blenkins has a good heart.
God, God is cruel. He took his wife, he took my mother off the farm.
Why your mother left had nothing to do with God.
It was men, men and women.
God is not cruel.
We are the ones who fail him.
We are the ones who have to work every day to change ourselves,
however hard it is to love, to be kind,
to be charitable.
Because we're all human.
Human, we're all human.
'Maybe if Waldo had never gone to the mill that day, things wouldn't have turned out the way they did.'
< You think I can't see? You think I can't count?
-What else have you been stealing, huh?
-You're not going to fool me any more, you hear me?
I've got eyes on all of you from now on. The cheek of it! All those sheep and you think I won't see?
You devil spawn! You get out of here and get off my farm!
Tant Sannie, you can't do this.
Her child is only like this.
Her husband will come back with the sheep, I'm sure of it.
-He has stolen them, I know he has!
-No, no, no, I will not believe he stole them. I know that man.
I know him three years. He's a good man, he wouldn't steal.
Tant Sannie, I mean, we are all God's children.
What's she to you, huh? One of your mistakes?
You were always too soft on them.
I know my sins, but her husband will come back with the sheep.
I stake my job on it!
If your husband doesn't come back with those sheep,
you are off this farm. Do you understand?
-Why do you let them treat you like this?
Tant Sannie and that man.
I know what you think about Bonaparte.
But when I was young man, I was an angry man, but then I learnt that anger does nothing but turn on you.
-But Uncle Otto...
-You, too, Lyndall.
You have so much anger, so much anger.
You love my books, yes?
I watch you with them. You love my books, but you never look at the most important one.
"Love isn't selfish or quick tempered.
"It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do.
"Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.
"There are three things - faith, hope and love.
"But of these three - the greatest is love."
-I hope I'm not disturbing you, my friend.
No, no. Come in, take a seat. We can have some coffee together.
Condolences on your wife.
My friend, I come not for mere creature comforts,
but for an hour of brotherly discourse with a kindred spirit.
What joy it is to be once more in your society.
It grieves me deeply, my dear friend, that you and Tant Sannie should have had some slight...
unpleasantness this afternoon.
It's all right now. A few sheep missing.
I'll make it good myself. I give my 15 sheep and work on the other 8.
You should not have to make good the lost sheep when it isn't your fault.
I'd rather do that than see the poor man's wife turned out into the fields.
Now that's what I call cruelty.
Diabolical cruelty. The person that could do such a thing.
I mean, I, I could run them through with a knife!
But Tant Sannie gives her word the maid shall remain for some days,
-and she will keep her word. I know all will be well.
-Tant Sannie is a hard woman.
No, no, she has her heart on the right side, and if I may say so,
I have an affection for her which I think she returns.
There's not one person on this farm
for whom I have not affection, Mr Blenkins.
It's not the same for all of us.
'Sometimes I wished Uncle Otto wasn't so good and kind.
'He went to find the sheep just so the maid could stay on the farm.
'Never saw any bad in anyone, even though there is good and bad in all of us.'
Tell me why you're here.
Did she give you food?
Here's this. Take it.
Here. You must try and get to the next farm.
Come, I'll help you. Come.
'By the time Uncle Otto got back, it was too late.'
Lyndall, Em, you are crying. What's the matter?
You child of a dog!
You old vagabond of a prying German!
-What is it?
-I have the heart of the devil, do I?
You could run me through with a knife, could you?
-I couldn't drive the maid away because I was afraid of you, was I?
I loved you, did I?
I wanted to marry you, do I?
-Do I, you devil's tongue, you rat's tail!
-I don't understand.
Ask him, ask him. He knows.
You thought he wouldn't tell me, but he did.
He did, you old fool! You old beggar!
-Do not approach me, do not address me, lost man!
This woman has been your benefactress and how have you rewarded her?
Beastly, beastly, beastly!
-What have you been poisoning her mind with?
-Get off my land, you dog!
-You will not let me speak?
-You've spoken enough.
-I would've been a rich woman if it wasn't for your laziness.
You would have been poor, Tant Sannie. And you are even poorer now.
Poor in spirit and poor in charity.
You dare talk to me about charity!
After I kept you and that little half-caste of yours like I did!
And you stand there all righteous!
Well, it doesn't fool me any more. Oh, no!
Yes, I've sinned, but it was done for love.
This, this is different kind of sin.
This is pride and anger and greed
and lies! And he, he has lied!
And you, you're a foolish woman.
I will not live with fools and liars.
I feel sorry for you, Tant Sannie.
Do not fret so much. All will be well.
If you are here by sunrise, my labourers will drag you
in the sand till there's no bone left in your body!
-She's an evil, wicked woman!
-We all sinneth.
I'll keep everything, even your horse, for all the sheep that you lost!
Be off my land by sunrise!
We won't stay to listen to such lies!
-So you will defy me too, you Englishman's ugliness!
Leave her alone!
You, off my farm!
See what you've done!
-You little devils! I'll teach you!
Let us out or I'll break the door down!
"My chickens, you did not come to say goodbye to me.
"I go to meet Waldo at the mill and he will follow me.
"God knows there's land where all things are made right,
"but that land is not here.
"Hold your heads high, my chickens, and always be proud of your actions.
"Nothing is mine, otherwise I would say, 'Lyndall, take my books. Em, my stores'
"Now I say nothing.
"I know the things are mine and it is not righteous,
"but I'm silent. Let it be.
"I have said too much today.
"I've done too much, but I feel it.
"Do not cry too much for the old man.
"I go out to seek my fortune
"and maybe I will come back with it in the bank.
"There's one thing I must tell you.
"It concerns Waldo's mama and my shame.
"She was my shame. She was a good woman and I loved her.
"My shame was I didn't protect her,
"but stood by and allowed her to be driven from me.
"I love my children. Do they think of me?
"I am old Otto, going out to seek his fortune."
Tomorrow, I'll smooth the cogs and tighten the screws a little.
Then I'll show it to everyone.
I could get about £50 for it.
I'll send Lyndall to school.
I'll get a black hat for Papa and a sewing kit for Em.
I'll get a box full of books that will tell me everything.
Why crystals grow into such beautiful shapes,
why black people are black and why the sunlight warms up things.
Then I'll read and read and read.
Where are you running so fast with your rosy cheeks, my boy?
You won't find anyone in right now.
-Not your good old father anyway.
-Where is he?
Behind the camps.
-What's he doing there?
-We couldn't keep him any more.
It was too hot.
'We never saw Uncle Otto again.
'Our hearts were broken.
'What would become of us?
'I really didn't know.'
I knew I'd find you here.
You must try and forget, Waldo.
But why did he have to die?
People get old, Waldo,
but we have to keep going.
There are so many things we have to do.
Not because we want to, but because we have to.
Maybe it'll all make sense when you're older.
We have to be strong.
That Waldo took himself off this morning as cool as you please and didn't do a stroke of work all day.
I'll have none of that now.
I suppose he's sorry that his father's dead.
It's natural, you know.
I cried all morning when my father died.
You can always get a new husband, but you can never get a new father.
There'll be no slacking now I'm master of this farm. Hurry up!
You can't spend all day at his grave.
I'll go and check on the lambs.
-What have you there, me lad, besides your bag?
Oh, don't lie.
-Come on, let me see.
Isn't that an ingenious little machine. Where did you get it?
It's mine. Give it back, please?
How does it work now? I've never seen anything so ingenious.
It's for shearing sheep.
Oh. Aren't you the clever lad?
We must get you a patent, my boy.
Your fortune is made.
Three years and there'll not be a farm in this colony where it isn't being used.
You're a genius. A great genius, that's what you are.
-How long have you worked on it?
I have never seen anything like it.
There's just one little improvement, one very little improvement I should like to make.
Looks better now, doesn't it?
You're a genius, my boy, that's what you are(!)
A born genius.
On this farm, you work for your keep. Do you hear?
You know, Tant Sannie, one might become very lonely
living on a farm as large as this one if one did not have companionship.
One could get lonely.
One does get lonely.
-You've thought of marrying?
But I can't marry until Em turns 17 or I lose the farm.
Jacob worked seven years and seven years again for his wife.
Trana hasn't been for a while.
It'll be nice to see her.
She'd asked Tant Sannie to invite her.
That's a good idea. She can help us with our sewing.
Ooh! Hello, Tant Sannie!
Look, there's Em! Hurry up, hurry up!
Get your bags into my room.
-Hurry up and be careful.
-How are you?
-I love your dress.
-Who's that girl?
The missus' niece.
Her pa's got money and he's built like you've never seen.
And a farm!
With goats, sheep and horses.
They milk ten cows in winter.
-She'll be a nice mouthful for the man that gets her.
The young men are after her like flies around a bowl of milk.
She wants to be married in four months, but she doesn't know who.
It was like that with me.
I sat up with young men four, five nights a week.
And when the time comes, they'll come riding in again as soon as they know I'm ready.
-Where are you going?
-To my room.
I'll be in for supper.
Bonaparte Blenkins, ma'am.
Pleased to meet you.
Only four months to go before you're married, Trana.
You'll have to choose one of those young men soon.
Father's glad I came.
I think he's getting tired of all the men coming riding into see me.
They'll be coming for Em soon.
And for Lyndall.
More potatoes, Trana?
I would, but they make you fat.
Oh, I find fat women attractive.
Pa does also. He has good taste.
Tant, why does the Irishman always sigh so when he looks at me?
It's because he thinks you look like me. I am telling you, Trana,
that man is mad in love with me.
But he's not going to get me as easily as he thinks.
He's going to have to ask more than once.
-Why does he always bump against a person when he passes?
-Because you're always in the way.
He's very ugly, you know?
Oh, man, Trana.
It's just because we're not used to such noses in this country.
In his country, he says all the people have such noses.
And the redder your nose, the higher you are.
He's related to Queen Victoria, you know?
And when his aunt with the dropsy dies, he'll have enough money to buy all the farms in the district.
And he's only 35.
Even though you'd think he was 45.
And he says he could kill himself quite easily
if he wanted to marry a woman and she won't.
Hurry, Waldo. Don't let anyone see!
They must have belonged to Em's father.
I don't think they're very nice. They aren't stories.
But you can take any you want.
What are you doing up there, huh?
Tant Sannie doesn't keep wine up there, so what? Something to eat?
What's that under your coat?
-Nothing? Well, if it's nothing then let me see.
-Let me see!
-Waldo, Tant Sannie wants us all in the kitchen.
I don't want you going up there. It's Tant Sannie's property. D'you hear me, boy?!
Oh, Waldo, my boy.
What d'you keep up in the loft?
Dried skins, empty bottles.
No sugar, perhaps?
No, just dried peaches.
Dried peaches, huh?!
Waldo was up there last night eating those peaches.
He's a great fool to eat my peaches. They're full of mites and hard as stones.
Answer me as you would your own father, in whose place I now stand here.
Did you or did you not eat those peaches in the loft?
Go on, say you took them, boy. Then he won't beat you so much.
So, you have nothing to say to us?
When a boy goes knocking about the loft it's natural to suppose he's been up to some mischief.
Where there is mischief, it must be taken out.
Waldo, confess to me this instant. You ate those peaches.
I think a little punishment might perhaps be beneficial.
It will enable you, Waldo, to reflect on the enormity of the sin that you have committed.
You may also think about the submission that you owe to those that are older and wiser than you are,
whose duty it is to check and correct you.
Excuse me, ladies.
Very sorry, Waldo.
Exceedingly sorry that you have chosen to act in this manner.
Well, perhaps a naked back...
WALDO CRIES IN PAIN
-What's going on?
-Bonaparte's giving Waldo a thrashing.
-And he deserves it, too.
Lyndall, Bonaparte's beating Waldo!
-Please, beg him to stop!
-The more you beg, the more he won't.
-I think he wants to kill him!
That'll teach him.
Where d'you think you're going?
-..Are you going to let her take it?
-Why don't YOU stop her?
-You take it from her.
-I thought you were master of the farm now.
-YOU had the key.
-YOU gave it to me!
Get some warm water, Em.
We won't be young always, Waldo.
One day we'll also have power.
Waldo, what's in this box?
I don't know. I've never seen it before.
He must have been saving it. For so long.
-Now Lyndall can go to school.
-And you can make your machine again.
-No. My machine's dead.
It's not, Waldo. Otto wouldn't want you to do that.
You made it once, you can do it again. I know you can.
She's right, Waldo. And Em can get a sewing machine.
There's enough money here for us to do anything.
-The hills are SO beautiful.
-Otto always thought so.
-Guess what. I got the part I need to finish the machine.
-Can I see?
'Trana set the cat amongst the chickens.
'There's nothing a rogue likes more than a plump farmer's daughter with a rich dowry.'
I think... It's time!
What was that?
Me, Tant Sannie, closing my book.
And what book is this now? You know how much trouble these books cause.
Just a book. From Em's father.
From the loft.
Goodnight, Tant Sannie. Sleep well.
I can just see what an ungodly book it is, you can't even say the name.
Aren't there enough curses on this farm without asking Almighty God to punish us more?
Didn't my minister tell me when I was confirmed, never to read
any book except my Bible, and that the devil was in all other books?
And I never have read any other book. And I never will.
-But Missus, I am scared of the loft, it's dark.
-Hold your tongue and get up there!
-Don't talk back to me, get up!
-It's dark, Missus.
-'Tant Sannie was so predictable, and my plan fell into place.'
It's a box filled with books!
-This is what happens when you leave things to servants.
But they'll move faster when I marry Bonaparte, oh, yes.
# Thy fair body, oh my girl Shall Bonaparte possess
-# His fingers in thy money box... #
Mr Blenkins, sir.
-Have you seen Trana?
Tant Sannie asked me to tell her that she's gone to the farm for the day.
-..Oh, I'll tell her.
-I found it, Missus!
-Wait, I'm coming up.
Fatter women than me go up ladders.
Help me, man!
Let me see these ungodly things.
What d'you want? I must get my aunt.
Sit there, my love.
Make yourself comfortable. Put your feet up.
-My aunt is just down the road.
-Your aunt has gone out somewhere.
Long have I waited for this auspicious event, to be with your angelic beauty.
Long, long, endless hours have I yearned to spend a solitary moment by your side.
How long have I desired this moment, but that wicked wrinkled old aunt
-of yours is always casting her suspicious shadows on us.
Look into my eyes, Trana. Oh, those eyes.
-Mirrors to the soul, mirrors to the glorious creature that lies within.
< Oh, but yes, my angel, yes.
Do you have heartburn?
-Your nose, so perfectly pointed to the heavens, and your bosom filled with sweet honey.
I don't understand. You mustn't! My aunt will be right back.
Comfort me with apples. Oh, what I would give to have such sweetness pass my lips.
For I am sick of love.
-Your hands, my love, so delicate, so soft.
-Stop it, please!
How I desire them to touch me, even for just one fleeting moment.
-My father will be very angry if you touch them.
Thy eyes are like doves within thy cheeks. Thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Mount Gilead.
Thy teeth are even shore like a flock of sheep.
-And everyone bears twins and none is barren among them.
Angel, I cannot bear to be apart from ya. I love ya, Trana.
-What do you mean?!
-I want you to marry me.
But no, I don't want to marry you!
Oh, yes, yes, you must! I cannot bear to be without ya.
Please! Don't try to kill yourself because I don't.
-Argh, Trana! Trana, I love you!
Don't abandon me, I love you!
I love you, Trana, I love you! I love...
-You! You fake! You impostor!
-My dove, you misunderstand.
-I misunderstand nothing!
-You bloody Irishman!
-You're treating me very badly.
Can a man not talk with a lady without salted meat and pickled water being thrown at him?
-Sannie, I'm a gentleman.
-Mr "I'm a gentleman".
-I'm coming for you.
You bloody foreigners!
You're all the same. You'll be sorry.
Don't call her. I always thought you such promising children, though you mayn't have known it.
Give me that! Come!
-Just you wait, Mr "I'm a gentleman".
-I'm just about to depart.
-Farewell, my children. May the good Lord bless you.
Don't let him get away! Ya! Get him!
Don't come back to my farm again!
Run! Ya! Run!
There he goes, man, yes! Ah, you bloody Englishman, you don't come back here!
Christian! Catch a sheep for me, please.
'Bonaparte got his just deserts. 'Twas glorious.
'Tant Sannie was very sheepish after that whole episode and eventually let me go to school.
'Em stayed on the farm, she loved so much.
'And Waldo went on to make a small fortune.
'Adults will never hurt us ever again.'
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Drama about three children who are brought up on an isolated South African farm in the 1870s. Em, Lyndall, and Waldo slog their way through the biblical strictures laid down by Em's stepmother, the imperiously huffy Tant Sannie. Respite is found in the bosom of Waldo's father, a farm manager and holy fool. The repression intensifies with the mythic appearance of Bonaparte Blenkins, a con man with a gift for sweet talk and hellfire.