Pupils get a taste of Vaselinetjie, the movie

A film based on Vaselinetjie, a setwork book for high school pupils, will soon hit the big screen, and as part of a nationwide promotion for the movie, the filmmaker visited Bonteheuwel High School.

Corné van Rooyen visited the school on Tuesday August 8 to share his love for his work, the challenges that went into producing the film, and to give the pupils a taste of the movie by showing the trailer.

Vaselinetjie, based on the book by Anoeschka von Meck, with the same title, is about race identity and how the characters deal with it in post-apartheid South Africa.

The story revolves around the life of the character, Helena Vaselinetjie Bosman, a white girl, who was lovingly raised by her coloured grandparents in the Northern Cape.

However, when social services discovered that the girl was not the biological granddaughter of the couple, she is sent to a children’s home in Johannesburg. Here Vaselinetjie is confronted with the ugly side of life, where nobody cares.

Mr Van Rooyen said 6 000 people across the country had auditioned to act in the film.

“It has been my dream to make a film about the book since 2005 – the first time I read the book. I must admit that the idea of turning it into a film scared me.

“The question that is being debated in the book is whether God made a mistake when he created Vaselinetjie, but then she discovers
that her life has purpose. Many young people can identify with the challenges faced by her. Our children
are the ones who are hurt the most when things are not right in our country.

“The book explores a lot, and it can definitely help us heal as a nation. It does not matter where you come from, as long as you know where you are going to. We must all just realise that there is a plan for our lives, and we must just follow it,” Mr Van Rooyen said.

The film opens in theatres on Friday September 22.