Four Corners (2014)
Four Corners is a film that illuminates unseen sectarian violence that has been plaguing the South Africa as its frustrated and impoverished citizens grow weary of playing by a rulebook that leaves basic necessities just out of reach. Stone-faced men appoint themselves as generals of brutal organizations, using tattoos as a permanent uniform indicating rank, affiliation, and “accomplishments” while etching their fearsome, gaunt frames with menacing texture. They speak in combinations of broken dialects and invented languages, attempting to define the parameters of their daily live while unwittingly becoming pieces in a larger game in which they have no control. One troubled teenager must decide between becoming a player in this unending cycle of urban warfare or continue his pursuits in the game of chess, the darling board game that has acted as a lazy metaphor for society’s ills in films since the birth of the medium.
Four Corners is a film that illuminates unseen sectarian violence that has been plaguing the South Africa …
Four Corners paints a bleak portrait of life in the most dangerous areas of South Africa, pointing its cameras at the darkest unseen corners of the world and using real members of South Africa’s Number Gangs to grant cultural significance and authenticity that augment its otherwise generic plot. Tattooed men with eyes that have witnessed too much tragedy earnestly attempt to pull their untold stories from the shadows of the South African slums and relay them to the world as they recognize the brutality and futility of their dangerous lifestyles. They give performances fueled by lifetimes of tragedy and loss, indications of their deeds tattooed across their weathered bodies in imperfect lines as the authentic menace of their hardened exteriors is betrayed by a raging undercurrent of heartache and misery.
Four Corners paints a bleak portrait of life in the most dangerous areas of South Africa, pointing its cameras at the darkest unseen corners of the world …
When hope and realistic aspirations for a brighter future are lost, it becomes irresistibly enticing for young people to get wrapped up in games that have no escape route other than death for a chance to relish in some of the otherwise unattainable vices of Western culture. It is a game that they know is ultimately unwinnable, but it is better to be a doomed player in a tragic game that offers few spoils than a casualty on the sidelines, death being a constant possibility for players and non-players alike. Complete non-participation is not an option as the violence permeates the ramshackle landscapes and men become tempered by cruelty, compassion and humanity eradicated through years of the hammer of misfortune unrelentingly striking their malleable souls.
Four Corners explores one of the most dangerous and unforgiving areas in the world, using members of South Africa’s infamous Number Gangs and taking its cameras into no man’s land to gather truths about the conditions of the area while its by-the-numbers crime/thriller plot unfurls. It doesn’t break into new narrative territories and its outcomes are easily inferred, but through its rare gift of revelation we can see a tragic and inescapable game being played in the real world that places its unwitting participants in the middle of a battleground over which they have little control. It is an unwinnable game that makes false promises of mastery of an uncontrollable domain and grants trinkets as consolation prizes to those able to eradicate hope and humanity and offer themselves willingly as pawns in an asinine game.
Four Corners explores one of the most dangerous and unforgiving areas in the world, using members of South Africa's infamous Number Gangs and taking its cameras into no man's land to gather truths about the conditions of the area while its by-the-numbers crime/thriller plot unfurls.