The true story of John Kepe explores the inherent desire and need in humanity to not only seek out heroes but also to fabricate and create them. The film depicts the cinematic ballad of the outlaw, John Kepe. This self-proclaimed "Samson of the Boschberg Mountains" who stole primarily livestock from farms in the vast arid expanse that is South Africa's rural Great Karoo region and shared his spoils with the impoverished poor. This notorious miscreant terrorized white settler farmers for over a decade before events culminated in his capture at the pre-dawn of apartheid. He was subsequently prosecuted for a murder he did not commit and condemned to death by hanging. Led by General Botha, a decorated world war 2 veteran, a manhunt ensues for the capture of Kepe in the very mountain where he was rumored to occupy a Noah's Ark-like cave. This spectacle ingratiated Kepe in the hearts and minds of the marginalized and poor indigenous population who turn Kepe's miscreant deeds into the stuff of legends, instantly making him a threat to the very fabric of the developing colonial society. Not only has he audaciously stolen and outwitted the settlers, but he has also become something of a mythological rebel hero to the native populous. Sew the Winter to my Skin dissects the psychosis and existential romantic interpretation of legend and heroism. It is an aggressive exploration of the effects of colonial displacement that sewed the seeds for one of the most viciously racist, political regimes in history.
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