‘Girl, Taken’ review from the 43rd Durban International Film Festival

THE 43rd Durban International Film Festival has been running since July 21 and will continue until July 30.

I had the privilege of watching one of their movies online and then wrote a review of it. This is a review of girl taken (contains spoilers).

I was gripped by this roller coaster ride of a true story.

girl taken is a documentary produced by Solsui Films K2019540296 (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd MMXXII. It was produced by Neasa Ni Chaináin, David Rane, Shameela Seedat and François Verster and supported by Fís Éarrean/Screen Ireland. The directors were François Verster and Simon Wood.

The film tells the true story of Celeste and Morné Nurse, a couple from Cape Town, whose newborn baby was taken from Groote Schuur Hospital two days after birth.

Cassidy and Miché, sisters reunited later in life. Photo: provided
Morné and Celeste Nurse were devastated to lose their baby.

The police could not find their daughter, Zephany. For 17 years, the couple searched and hoped to find the missing piece in their lives while raising their three other children.

The story mainly follows their story, the story of younger sister Cassidy and the story of Zephany / Miché and also delves into the lives of the other family members.

Miché was raised by Lavona Solomon and her husband Michael. Lavona abducted Zephany (called Miché by Lavona) from the hospital while posing as a nurse. Cassidy Nurse, Zephany’s younger sister, befriended Miché at school due to their uncanny resemblance. They soon discover that they were related.

The film then covers the story of Lavona’s trial and arrest and the subsequent fallout for the families. The documentary explains how each character deals with the enormous disruption in their lives. It’s a deeply moving, dramatic and incredible story that at times left me speechless with surprise.

I was blown away by this story and impressed with how it was portrayed. The directors made me feel sympathy for each character even though some characters were in opposition to each other. It was so real, especially being based in South Africa, although it’s not a part of South Africa that I know. Every interview seemed authentic. The twists and turns and deep dive into the lives and feelings of those affected by a painful and traumatic event will stir your emotions throughout. The interviews and interactions were brilliant and I enjoyed the cinematography. The pacing and flow were well crafted and edited.

I would recommend this documentary to anyone who loves a true story that dives deep into the emotional lives of real people affected by a deeply traumatic event and despicable crime.

To find out more about the 43rd Durban International Film Festival and get free tickets, visit their website: https://www.durbanfilmfest.com/

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