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Shirley Adams  1385

Release date: Fri 13 Aug 2010
Running time:92 (1h32’)
Age restriction:10m

Portrait of a mother.

Shirley Adams spends her days caring for her disabled son, Donovan - he was shot in the back of the neck on his way home from school one afternoon over a year ago.

Since then the Adams family has lost all their worldly possessions to medical bills. Shirley has no money, no job and no husband - he left without a trace months ago. Shirley’s life now consists of trying to make ends meet by shoplifting and relying on the charity of others.

When a young, eager occupational therapist, Tamsin Ranger, comes into their lives, Shirley hopes that it might lift her son’s spirits and finally put them on the path to some form of stability.

At the same time Shirley receives a phone call one afternoon informing her that Donovan’s case is finally going to trial, but the glory is short lived when Shirley discovers that the shooter is one of Donovan’s childhood friends.

Her reaction to the betrayal is so overwhelming that she chooses not to tell Donovan in fear of further damaging his already unstable emotional state.

Determined to make a change in their lives, Shirley actively decides to embrace their new circumstances, hoping that Donovan will follow her example.

But his mental state continues to deteriorate and Tamsin is unsuccessful in distracting him from his ever-present disability. Shirley is eventually left without an sign of the family she once had.

Set in Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town, Shirley Adam’s story is symptomatic of the relationship between violence and poverty – the destruction of an entire family is related to one single incident that cannot be erased or repaired.

Riddled with the socio-political and racial tensions that plague these Cape Flats slums, Shirley Adams is the story of one woman’s amazing strength and self sacrifice.

Genre: Drama
Cast: Denise Newman, Keenan Arrison
Directed by: Olver Hermanus
Screenplay: Stavros Pamballis, Oliver Hermanus
Music: Philip Miller
Produced by: Jeremy Nathan, Michelle Wheatley
Language: English, Afrikaans

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