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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Filmverwerking as interpretasie : die verwerkingsproses van roman na film met verwysing na Marlene van Niekerk se Triomf en Michael Raeburn se Triomf

Volume 16 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1995-5928

 

Abstract

Michael Raeburn se filmverwerking van Marlene van Niekerk se roman Triomf (1994) verskyn in 2008. Aanpassings wat die filmverwerking aan die romanverhaal maak, lei tot ’n alternatiewe vertelling van die Triomf-verhaal. ’n Vergelykende studie wat hierdie aanpassings ondersoek, lewer insigte in die filmverwerkingsproses en kontemporêre adaptasiestudies op. Adaptasiestudies bestudeer die verhouding tussen filmverwerkings en hul brontekste en bied insiggewende vergelykingsmodusse tussen die twee media.

Navorsers voer aan dat getrouheidskritiek tydens vergelykende studies vermy moet word. Gevolglik word alternatiewe vergelykingsmodusse ondersoek ten einde hiërargiese plasings van die romanteks bó die filmteks (of omgekeer) te vermy. McFarlane (1996:23) wys daarop dat vergelykende studies moet vasstel wat uit die romanverhaal behou is, wat verander is en wat die gevolglike interpretasie daarvan is. Leitch (2007:18) argumenteer dat die gapings tussen die twee tekste bestudeer moet word om vas te stel of die filmverwerking ’n nuwe vertelling van die oorspronklike verhaal bied. Doelbewuste aanpassings dui op die mate waarin die filmverwerking die bronteksverhaal interpreteer.

Die Triomf-filmverwerking word met die romanverhaal vergelyk om die gapings tussen die twee tekste te identifiseer. Vergelykend word ondersoek hoe die romanverhaal aangepas is en of hierdie aanpassings op ’n interpretasie en dus ’n alternatiewe vertelling van die Triomfverhaal dui, met die verdere doel om ’n oorspronklike teks te lewer. Hier onder word die titel, tydruimtelike aspekte, struktuur en intrige, karakterisering, toneelseleksie en tematiek onder die loep geneem. Die artikel stel die volgende navorsingsvraag: Tot watter mate interpreteer Michael Raeburn se filmverwerking van Marlene van Niekerk se Triomf die romanverhaal ten einde ’n oorspronklike verhaal daar te stel?

Daar word tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat die Triomf-filmverwerking ’n interpretasie lewer wat meer sinies en somber in toon is, met ’n suggestie dat hoop vir ’n vreedsame toekoms na die 1994-verkiesing nie moontlik is nie. As sodanig bied die Triomf-filmverwerking ’n alternatiewe vertelling van die romanverhaal en dien dit as ’n oorspronklike verhaal.

Film adaptation as interpretation: The adaptation process from novel to film in reference to Marlene van Niekerk’s Triomf and Michael Raeburn’s Triomf

Michael Raeburn’s film adaptation of Marlene Van Niekerk’s seminal 1994 novel Triomf was released in 2008. It is clear that Raeburn’s film, Triomf, deviates from Van Niekerk’s novel, offering an alternative version of the Triomf story. A comparative study of these two texts offers insight into the adaptation process and contemporary adaptation studies. Adaptation studies scrutinises the relationship between film adaptations and their source texts.

Marlene van Niekerk’s Triomf offers an allegory of the Afrikaner and the fears surrounding the first democratic South African election and the likely change in political regime. Afrikaner ideology and the apartheid regime are simultaneously scrutinised. With a white incestuous family living in the white working-class suburb of Triomf (built on the ashes of the black suburb Sophiatown, whose tenants had been forcibly removed by the apartheid government) at the novel’s core, the text’s use of allegory is strongly metaphoric of one demythologising the Afrikaner. The tragicomedy can ultimately be interpreted as one that offers hope for a democratic future in which past grievances can be accepted, if not forgiven. The novel is widely regarded as one of the defining anti-apartheid novels in Afrikaans literature (De Kock 2009:16, 22) and earned Van Niekerk the prestigious CNA Prize for Literature (1995), the M-Net Book Prize (1995), as well as the first Noma Prize for Publication in Africa (1995). The novel was translated into English for a South African market by Leon de Kock in 1999, followed by a second English version for the international market.

Michael Raeburn’s 2008 film adaptation (screenplay by Raeburn and Kohll) with the same title as the novel is based on De Kock’s English translation for the South African market. The film originally received a mixed reception, but did well on the film festival circuit, winning the best film category at the 2008 Durban International Film Festival. Raeburn was told that South Africans would not want to see themselves depicted, as portrayed in the novel, “at their incestuous, violent and nasty worst” (Smith 2008:8). The film adaptation follows the same basic story as the novel’s, but offers a retelling thereof that can ultimately be interpreted as one that offers a bleaker vision for a democratic South Africa.

Comparing these two texts provides insight into the interpretation of both, as well as the adaptation process involved.

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