SHOOTING BOKKIE :: A Rob de Mezieres short film


I remember watching this film about 17 years ago at a short film evening at the Armchair Theatre. There was no preamble or context given to this short; they simply played it and the audience was left absolutely stunned.

This short tells the story of a documentary crew following a 'bokkie,' a juvenile hitman in the Cape Flats.

This film was ahead of its time for many reasons. It was the first film, at least that I had seen, which depicted gangsterism in the Cape Flats so unapologetically. It also was the first time that I was introduced to the concept of a ‘fake’ documentary, as it tread the line of reality and fiction so brilliantly, that by the time the film ended the audience really didn’t know if what they had watched was real or fiction. We couldn’t google things at that time so we left the event without really knowing what we had watched.

Quinton Fredericks, who was our focus puller on Tali’s Wedding Diary, and I got chatting about his father’s new release Noem my Skollie and he mentioned how his dad’s first film was Shooting Bokkie. It was amazing to connect over this film that had such a profound effect on me so many years ago — and also to learn how Quinton’s father, Jon Fredericks, had been working on his craft for so many years, and how his dedication had amounted to the recent success of Noem my Skollie being so positively received.

I’ve recently rewatched Shooting Bokkie, and while I can clearly see now that it is fiction, it still holds up as a conceptually strong and innovative way to have told this story about the life of a 'bokkie' in the Cape Flats.


Ari Kruger is best known as the co-creator and director of the YouTube phenomenon SuzelleDIY and the first Showmax Original, Tali's Wedding Diary. He's also directed two Vimeo Staff Pick short films: Jakkals13 and Focus.


:: The resultant feature film of the same name won Best South African Film at Durban in 2003 and first prize at Festival Africano di Milano.


:: Director: Rob de Mezieres
:: Editor: Rob de Mezieres
:: Story: John Fredericks, Rob de Mezieres, Adam Rist
:: DoP: Brendon Rowen
:: Art director: Josie Minty


:: Bokkie: Christo Davids