Film on Alison’s ordeal to be shown at US festival

IT was a crime that shocked South Africa – stabbed 37 times, raped, disembowelled and slashed 17 times in the neck.

This was the ordeal suffered by Alison Botha, who in 1994 was viciously attacked by two men and left for dead in Port Elizabeth a few kilometres from her home.

Now, 22 years later, the terrible crime and its consequences are portrayed in a film, Alison The Movie, in which Cape Town actress Christia Visser plays Botha.

Producer and director Uga Carlini, who was awarded the film rights to Alison’s story following a 17-year battle for them among filmmakers, said she felt honoured she was given the opportunity to make the movie.

WARNING: Content of a graphic nature.

“To this day, I get goosebumps thinking about the story, and I’m honoured to be the one entrusted with this story out of all the people who sent Alison proposals.”

Carlini, 41, is renowned in the film industry for telling heroinedriven stories.

Production on the film began in 2011, and filming was wrapped up in November last year.

The film is scheduled to be shown at the Dances in Films festival in Los Angeles next month – the first time a South African movie will be screened at the festival since its inception in 1998.

With the motto, “Defiantly independent since 1998”, the festival is geared solely at independent filmmakers, and all films shown are required to feature casts and production teams that are not part of the Hollywood industry.

Botha said Visser’s portrayal of her was accurate. “She has the right feeling – it [the attack] was very surreal and almost spiritual, and she’s got it right.”

A new version of her book, Have Life: Alison’s Journey that has an additional chapter would be launched to coincide with the movie’s release.

“It sounds odd to say, but when I speak about it [my ordeal], I don’t relive it. I actually get more attached to the effect and the message at the end, and the way it affects other people,” Botha said.

“Horrible things happen to us but in the end, our lives are not determined by [them].”

  • Alison The Movie hits Nu Metro cinemas on August 12.

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