Fiche Film
Captor and Captive – The story of Danger Ashipala & Johan van der Mescht
Pays concerné : Namibie
Genre : portrait
Type : documentaire


Réalisatrice : Rina Jooste


The story of two soldiers caught up in the disorganised machine of war.

« Captor and Captive – The story of Danger Ashipala and Johan van der Mescht » is an emotional story of two enemy soldiers who meet 30 years after an event that changed both of their lives.

Johan van der Mescht, a South African SADF conscript was stationed on the border of Namibia when he was captured in 1978. He was held as a Prisoner of War in Sao Paulo Prison, Angola, for four and a half years before being exchanged for a Russian spy, Aleksei Koslov, at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin in 1982.

Danger Ashipala was a young idealist when he joined the SWAPO’s military wing, PLAN, to help liberate his country from colonial oppression. He was responsible for Van der Mescht’s capture.

The film chronicles the first meeting between Van der Mescht and Ashipala in 2009, and explores their respective experiences. « Captor and Captive » is both the story of a man whose capture has taken him to hell and back and of his captor who kept him alive during the attack. Ultimately it is a story of forgiveness and redemption.

After a fact finding mission to Namibia in 2009, Danger Ashipala, who was Van der Mescht’s SWAPO captor, was located by the filmmaker. When Van der Mescht and his family returned to Namibia in December 2009 for the meeting with his captor and the filming thereof, he received a hero’s welcome. Ironically in his own country he is still regarded as a traitor who walked over to join the enemy. At its centre the story contains the universal themes of war, love, pain, betrayal and forgiveness and will appeal to a wide audience from age group 15 years to adults of all ages. The film bears testament to the reconciliation between veteran soldier enemies.

The film features prominently retired soldier Lieutenant-General Martin Shalli, then Chief of the Namibian Defence Force, NDF.

Director: Rina Jooste
Producer: Rina Jooste

Produced by Full Circle Productions
in association with the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa (NFVF)

Distributed by Shadow Films

Sales Information
Rina Jooste (Full Circle Productions)
Postnet Suite #225, Private Bag X9
Melville, Johannesburg, 2109
Tel: +27 11 440-6853

For direct DVD internet sales via Full Circle Productions email Rina Jooste.

Durban International Film Festival 2011

Captor and Captive will be broadcast on SABC 2 late 2011.

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