A true artist. When I went to see his film, 'Nice to meet you, please don't rape me' I didn't know what to expect, but I was blown away by the end. More than half the people in the screening room walked out after the first scene, a scene in which a black man pulls a gun on a white man and demands that he beats him and forces the white man to fuck him in his ass.

Ian Kerkhof was raised in The Netherlands after being born in South Africa in March of 1964. 'Nice to meet you' takes place in South Africa and is full of cultural references and obscure artistic gestures that make perfect sense to him and other citizens of South Africa. After the screening I was totally dazed and confused by what I had seen. Lots of male nudity, lots of violence, not a lot of explanations. It's a good thing Ian was there himself to clear up any questions anyone had.

During the Q & A he essentially answered all of these questions by saying: "You're not supposed to get it. I was tired of South African filmmakers just immitating the bullshit American films that you guys sent us. It was demeaning so I made a South African movie for South Africans. I'm sorry you guys can't get it, but hopefully you understand the general tone."

I sure thought I understood the tone. Things are fucked in South Africa. In the movie there is a psuedo-comical scene where a group of males makes plans to increase the number of rapes in South Africa. They feel ashamed that their rape rate was only one every 75 seconds. This film was made in 1995 and by 1999, when I saw the film, the rape rate was approximately 3 per minute. Most rapes in South Africa today are simply called robberies.

This was an amazingly effective tool for me. I learned a lot about art, politics and South Africa that night. I also learned a lot about misunderstanding and determination when Ian mentioned that when 'Nice to meet you' was first shown to a major festival audience over 800 people walked out after the first scene and by the end, only 60 of about 1000 were left. Ian said he never flinched. It never bothered him a bit.

Fuck 'em if they can't take it...

Later in the week I was lucky enough to see his most popular film 'Wasted', a film about the French Club scene and Ecstasy. This was also the first feature-length film I had seen that was filmed entirely with digital cameras.

Other Kerkhof films include 'Ten Monologues from the Lives of the Serial Killers' and 'Kyodai Makes the Big time'.

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