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SINOPSIS // AFRIKAANS

Dis 2002. Vier vriende braai saam die Sondag ná Johannes Kerkorrel se selfmoord. Hulle herleef hulle studentedae op Stellenbosch in die Voëlvry-toer tydperk in die laat 80’s. Toe was hulle jonk, dronk, rebels en deurdrenk van die protesmusiek van Kerkorrel, Koos Kombuis en Bernoldus Niemand. Nou is hulle voorstedelik en ontnugter. Die dood van hulle universiteitsvriend Johnny bly nog ’n raaisel – iets wat die oorblywende vriende steeds ná al die jare teister.

Die storie begin in 1987. Eerstejaarstudent Lise ontmoet haar koshuismaat Anja. Na Anja se skorsing uit die dameskoshuis, trek hulle na ‘n kommune saam met die “wannabe” rocker Johnny, daggakop Dirk en Hein “die oud-grensvegter” met sy nagmerrie Grens-ervarings – ‘n hegte vriendskap ontwikkel. Die Voëlvry-musiek word die klankbaan van hierdie hegte vriendskap en hulle eie seksuele en politieke ontwaking. Saam probeer hulle as jong Afrikaners ‘n alternatiewe identiteit sonder apartheidsbagasie oop rock en rebelleer. Die storie van hulle studentejare bereik ‘n klimaks die aand in 1989 wat hulle die Voëlvry-konsert op Stellenbosch bywoon. Die vyf vriende se nag van euforie eindig egter in tragedie  wanneer Johnny – ‘n dienspligtige wat uit die army ge-awol het – in die vroeë oggendure na die konsert selfmoord pleeg.

Nou, in 2002, herinner Kerkorrel se selfmoord  die vriende op ‘n onaangename wyse aan hul vriend Johnny se dood. Dirk, intussen getroud met Lise, nooi Anja en Hein om die Sondagaand by hulle nuwe voorstelike huis te kom braai. Soos die drank die aand vloei, vervaag die grense tussen toe en nou, en só met behulp van terugflitse word die storie van hul vriendskap vertel. Johnny is nie dood nie bekyk die impak  van die Voëlvry-beweging op ‘n generasie Afrikaners se persoonlike en politieke ontwikkeling, en die verwoestende uitwerking wat die grensoorlog op duisende dienspligtiges gehad het.

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SYNOPSIS // ENGLISH

It’s 2002. Four friends are having a braai on the Sunday after Johannes Kerkorrel’s suicide. They reminisce about their days as students in Stellenbosch during the time of the Voëlvry tour in the late 80’s. They were young, drunken rebels saturated in the protest music of Kerkorrel, Koos Kombuis and Bernoldus Niemand. Now, they have become disillusioned suburbanites. The death of their varsity friend Johnny remains a mystery and still haunts all four of them, even after all these years.

The story starts in 1987. Lise, a first year student, meets Anja who lives in the same residence. After Anja is kicked out of the ladies’ res, they move into a commune with wannabe rocker Johnny, Dirk the stoner, and Hein, the ex-conscript who still struggles with Border PTSD. Amidst parties and protest the five students become close friends. The Voëlvry music becomes the soundtrack to their sexual and political awakening. As close friends the five young Afrikaners try to form an alternative identity, one that is free of the baggage of apartheid. These carefree student years reach a climax one evening in 1989 when they attend the Voëlvry concert in Stellenbosch. But this euphoric night ends in tragedy for the friends when, after the concert, in the small hours of the morning, Johnny commits suicide.

Now, in 2002, Kerkorrel’s suicide is an unpleasant reminder of Johnny’s death. Dirk, who has since married Lise, invites Anja and Hein to their new suburban home for a braai. The more alcohol is consumed, the more the lines between past and present blur, and the story of their friendship unfolds with the aid of flashbacks. Johnny is nie dood nie examines the impact of the Voëlvry movement on the personal and political development of a generation of Afrikaners, as well as the havoc the Bush War inflicted on the lives of thousands of young army conscripts.

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