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A PAINLESS ESCAPE FROM MIND-NUMBING QUESTIONS
From: The Sunday Independent - 6 August 2000
(excerpt from article by DARREL BRISTOW-BOVEY)

... Another remarkable metamorphosis was that of Leonard du Plooy, the coloured schoolmaster from the Cape who turned gay, turned white and became Granny Lee. Whether or not you are interested in Granny Lee, and I have met enough drunken drag queens to know they're more entertaining when you hear about them second-hand, Metamorphosis continued the recent pleasing run of local documentaries that both look good and tell a good tale.

It spun what is really a rather sad and soiled story with charm and verve, and the right balance of truth-telling and myth-making. Ordinarily the problem with local documentaries is that all the people working on them are frustrated film-makers who haven't yet sunk to making commercials. As a result, it's all technique and no narrative, all aesthetics and no sense of a story. Also there's no money.

That didn't seem to be a problem here: Metamorphosis positively dripped with production value. It looked gorgeous. And because the story structure was so pressing and the narrative was kept taut, the visuals were seldom allowed to get in the way. The old tricks and gestures were there, of course, the slow fades to black, the endlessly zooming or panning camera, the quick rush of cuts, but they were handled with sufficient care, or perhaps pizazz, to ensure that for once they didn't awake in me the strong urge to stare at a blank wall, or teach myself how to paint. Sometimes it's fun to switch on the TV.

Ruth Barter plays Granny Lee

© Underdog Entertainment 2000