A Boetie Humphrey Bogartby Brandon Edmonds / 19.08.2009
Hollywood updates Afrikaaner masculinity for us and it aint pretty. Blood Diamond, circa 2006. Leo D almost escapes the bad mojo of playing a white mercenary in Africa by sweating hard and looking driven. He was in the SADF. He smuggles diamonds in the bodies of black men. He drinks and smokes. And drives, and leaps and runs. He’s a stern Alpha jock with a killer’s disdain for niceties. The bush has drained all the effete latte softening effects of pampered urban maleness out of him. He’s a bare-knuckled survivor in ‘ungovernable’ Africa. With balls enough to hit on hot Yankee print journalists who clearly do Yoga. We’re supposed to like him for all this. And dammit we do. It’s Leo. Plus he’s totally post-racial. Money talks not melanin. He ‘deals with blacks’ as he does everyone else: with barely suppressed rage. He’s a boetie Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. Given the number of ex-Sap operatives now pimping their capacity for pain in various global hot spots as hired death-dealers, this portrait smacks of authenticity.