DATE: May 15
Director: Daryne Joshua
Writer: Amy Jephta
Stars: St John Alexandre, Anray Aminsure, Clint Brink
Run Time: 2h 3min
Rating: Restricted to 15+ years
A South African born woman who has been working in the film and television industry for the past 20 years, Elise is no stranger to the plight of single motherhood and shares her own experience of growing up in an abusive home, left to raise two sons on her own. In 2010, 3 days after her breast cancer surgery, Elise had no choice but to get herself out of her hospital bed to take on a production assistant role on a film called Dark Tide. Elise is a mature age student in Australia and serves as a committee member on the Sydney South African Film Festival.
Dr. Michael Diamond
We are privileged to have Dr. Michael Diamond speak after the Screening
Michael is a consultant psychiatrist who grew up in South Africa. One of his sub- specialties includes forensic psychiatry. He has worked with the police both within Australia and overseas, and he has been involved with many high profile cases involving homicide within families.
Based on true events, Ellen tells of the troubled relationship between a mother and her drug-addicted son – a relationship that will eventually drive her to the edge and lead to his murder.
In 2007, the death of 20 year old Abie Pakkies created a stir in South Africa and the world. The most disturbing part of the case was that the murderer was his mother, Ellen. When advocate Adrian Samuels takes on the case, he is determined to prove that Ellen Pakkies had no choice. But what compelled her to stop seeking help? How does a mother become desperate enough to take her own son’s life?
Told across two timelines, Ellen is the harrowing account of a woman put through the penal system, tried for murder and driven by an unflinching love for her son. It delves into the inner psyche of a family ravaged by drugs in one of the most dangerous communities in South Africa. A scourge that extends beyond the Cape Flats and highlights a systematic failure to protect the poorest of the poor.
Told across two timelines, this movie shares the story of Ellen’s (Jill Levenberg) stormy relationship with her twenty-year old drug-addict son, Abie Pakkies (Jarrid Geduld). In 2007, his death caused a stir worldwide when it was revealed that his mother was the one who murdered him.
When advocate Adrian Samuels (Clint Brink) takes on the case, he is determined to prove that Ellen had no choice. But what compelled her to stop seeking help? How does a mother become desperate enough to take her own son’s life?