The Beloved Country

The story of the right wing extremist movement close to the end of white rule early 90’s.

The film takes us back to the early 1990’s in South Africa. It is a provocative look from within at Afrikaner extremists who, in 1991, clung to the belief that they were the chosen ‘super race’ of Africa. With the demise of white rule, many of these Boers lived in fear. Some had banded into paramilitary groups, such as Eugene Terre’Blanche’s Afrikaner Resistance Movement, which claimed wide support within the South African army and police. They were preparing for an armed showdown with the new government.

The Beloved Country is an outstanding film about the frustrations of conservative whites and the way they believed former South African President De Klerk was selling out their country. It was the first documentary to penetrate the heart of the South African extreme right. Scenes of paramilitary training and shocking statements by Terre’Blanche and other Afrikaner ideologues make clear that South Africa was on the eve of what could have been a disaster.

The film is well photographed, and its professionalism makes the barbarity of its subjects all the more unsettling. Director Saskia Vredeveld goes far beyond the well-known, stereotyped interviews. The Beloved Country is a remarkable documentary, not only because it is so well edited, but especially because Vredeveld has taken some very appalling images, showing right wing extremism in its naked form.

Featuring: Eugene Terre’Blanch, leader of the Afrikaner Resistance  Movement (AWB); Robert van Tonder, leader of The Boer State; Boer Resistance Movement (BWB); Professor Carel Boshoff; Max Du Preez, editor of Vrije Weekblad; Adriaan Vlok, Minister of Law & Order, Orania

Documentary, 1992, 50 min. 16 mm film, Dutch film title ‘Hartseer Land’

Director Saskia Vredeveld, Research & script Bart de Graaff & Saskia Vredeveld, Production CineTe, The Netherlands