WATCH | 1970s Cape Town resurrected in Australia for apartheid movie shoot

13 March 2019 - 10:14 By Dave Chambers
Daniel Radcliffe, playing the role of Tim Jenkin, encounters '1970s Capetonians' on the set of 'Escape from Pretoria' in Adelaide on March 13 2019.
Daniel Radcliffe, playing the role of Tim Jenkin, encounters '1970s Capetonians' on the set of 'Escape from Pretoria' in Adelaide on March 13 2019.
Image: TwitterNine News Adelaide

Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, woke up on Wednesday to find an "algemene handelaar" in one of its city centre streets, quite close to a "bakkery". 

Outside, there was a "whites only" taxi and a double-decker bus emblazoned with an ad for FC Kitsklaar Koffee "vir die kleur vat jy steun". 

Apartheid Cape Town was revived in Adelaide's Pirie Street for filming of Escape from Pretoria, which stars Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe in the role of anti-apartheid activist Tim Jenkin.

CA numberplates adorned old vehicles in the street, coin-operated parking meters were installed and even the magazines on sale at a hawker's stall were made to look authentically 1970s, with one clearly imitating Scope.

Anti-apartheid activists Tim Jenkin, Alex Moumbaris and Stephen Lee in Dar es Salaam in 1979 after their escape from Pretoria Central prison.
Anti-apartheid activists Tim Jenkin, Alex Moumbaris and Stephen Lee in Dar es Salaam in 1979 after their escape from Pretoria Central prison.
Image: Tiso Blackstar archive

In 1979, Jenkin, Stephen Lee and Alex Moumbaris fled Pretoria Central prison by cutting wooden keys and using them to open 10 doors.

Jenkin, now 70, related the escape in autobiography Inside Out: Escape From Pretoria Prison, which is the basis for the script being shot in Adelaide.

He said was disappointed that the movie, financed with the assistance of the South Australia Film Corporation, was not being filmed in SA. "They were going to but there were endless problems with the department of arts and culture," he said.

"In the end the producers got fed up and decided to go to Australia. It's more expensive but at least things happen there. It's very sad, because it would have been great to have South African actors and genuine South African accents in the film."

Photographs and videos of Radcliffe on set began to emerge last week when the shoot moved to a public street outside a railway station.


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