Calvinia is a poetic documentary about the small South African town and its impact under Apartheid's value system. Filmmaker Rudi van Merwe poignantly and delicately confronts the town's conservatism, injustices, prejudices and inequalities through personal and family history.

African Premiere
SA Premiere
Screenings – CT
V&A SK7Tue 27 June 8pm+ Q&A
Screenings – JHB
ZoneNouv 12Sat 24 June 4pm+ Q&A


Rudi van der Merwe


South Africa | Switzerland



Running Time:

51 min


Afrikaans, English

This poetically rendered film documents the physical and social landscape of the small South African town of Calvinia and the impact that apartheid’s twisted value system continues to have on people’s lives. Returning to the place where he grew up, filmmaker Rudi van Merwe confronts the conservative nature of the town and its injustices, prejudices and persistent inequalities. Accompanied by an intimate voiceover, he revisits his memories and family history, as well as those of Koba, the woman who worked for his family when he was younger and who is intimately connected to their lives. Calvinia is a beautifully constructed film that explores the complex relationship between history, memory and identity.

Courtesy of SWISS FILMS

Previous Festivals

Visions du Réel (2022)