Frank Opperman gets serious again in a Role of a Modern Priest in Society.
The decline in church attendance is a global phenomenon. The role of the priest in our rapidly changing world is one of the themes that lies at the heart of Dominee Tienie, a new film starring acclaimed actor Frank Opperman, who reprises on the big screen, the role he played on stage in the one-man play of the same name, written by Dana Snyman.
The film tells the story of a priest who needs to win back his confidence, if he is to again become the light he once was for everyone around him. After 16 years of serving as the priest of the mother church, Tienie Benade is faced with a steep decline in the number of congregants and a modern society that is rapidly changing. Is he brave enough to provide guidance to his congregation in this new era?
Director and co-writer Sallas de Jager says that the idea of an Afrikaans priest coming to the realisation that he has lost his way and doesn’t know where he fits within this modern society, immediately fascinated him, further adding how it has been a privilege to tread on proverbial holy ground, in that this is how he feels about adapting one of the most successful plays, written by one of the most beloved Afrikaans writers, Dana Snyman, for the big screen
Helen Kuun, MD of Indigenous Film Distribution mentions that the film explores a topic that is close to the hearts of many South Africans; keeping the faithful in a world where people consult other professionals for their problems, highlights the dilemmas of the modern priest.
Dominee Tienie also explores the inner world of a man who is battling to get to grips with changing times while he confronts his own mid-life crisis. For Opperman, the role adds to the list of memorable alter egos for which he has become famous: from the eager-to-please Ouboet in Orkney Snork Nie, and the scheming Chris Karedes in The Big Time, to Koos Andries Koekemoer in Gauteng-a-Leng.
The film is directed by Sallas de Jager of Free State fame, as well as Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux and Musiek vir die Agtergrond, who wrote the screenplay based on Snyman’s play. The cast also features Henriëtta Gryffenberg known for her roles in Die Sonkring, Erfsondes and Malunde, Thapelo Mokoena from Fear Factor, Wild at Heart and Long Walk to Freedom, Regardt van den Bergh known for Tornado and the Kalahari Horse Whisperer and Uitvlucht, Deon Lotz of Skoonheid, Sleepers Wake and Faan se Trein, Paul Eilers, known for roles in Verraaiers, Stuur groete aan Mannetjies Roux, Musiek vir die Agtergrond and Annette Engelbrecht from Orkney Snork Nie, Geraamtes in die Kas and Elke Skewe Pot.
De Jager says the film will both entertain and challenge audiences and will certainly afford them the opportunity to experience some of South Africa’s leading actors and technicians at their very best.
Dominee Tienie is distributed by Indigenous Film Distribution and releases nationally on 25 January 2019.