The First of Daran

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lourens Blok has made his debut as a director, with The Seven of Daran: Battle of Pareo Rock, a Dutch 2008 movie. An independent film was produced by Amsterdam-based Rolf Visser and Felice Bakker of AAA Pictures on a budget of about $8 million, the live-action film shot in South Africa and Namibia has played at Middle Eastern and European festivals and was even distributed by Walt Disney in Holland.

The Battle of Pareo Rock tells the story of a rich 11-year old European boy, Jimmy Westwood (Johann Harmse) who resides in Africa with his mother, (Caroline Goodall, Princess Diaries;2001) who is too indulgent in her work as an executive, establishing a golf resort. On the other side, there seems to be some tension brewing up between two once-friendly African tribes who have turned arch enemies over the land (Pareo Rock) which they now don’t remember who it rightfully belongs to. As one tribe, the Bombattas tribe want to sell it while the Saladir tribe wants to preserve their ancestral grounds and so the war instils….

On his way home, Jimmy meets the talking white giraffe, Seraf, at a busy market. Seraf tells Jimmy that he has to stop this tribal battle and presents him a precious medallion. So together with Charita, (Ketrice Maitisa) a poor African girl at his side, they embark on an adventurous and enchanting journey facing obstacle after obstacle, making it even more difficult than it already is, urging us to know whether Jimmy will reach Pareo rock in time?

The movie has all the ingredients a great movie would need, good direction, an interesting plot coupled with intriguing acting from the actors. One is also compelled to commend the music by Maaten Spurijt; nominated by Golden Calf Awards, as it was really apt arousing the right feelings at the right time leaving one deeply touched,

The Seven of Daran, ventured from fantasy, suspense, action, violence, romance thus with so many varied genres, the movie puts across a strong message to its audience of varied ages, particularly children; ‘we must believe in ourselves, set our goals and we will eventually achieve them in good time’.

(This film review entered the finals for 'The Young Journalist Award', Dubai International Film Festival 2008)


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