Lost in the Desert (aka Dirkie) is a South African kids' movie sadistic to the point of absurdity, submitting its lone boy protagonist Dirkie, poor eight-year old Dirkie, to a cavalcade of traumas and tribulations punishing in their accumulation, and positively Christ-like in their extremity. This movie is either the bleakest of godless nightmares, or the blackest, most hilarious comedy made ever concocted--and made for children, no less. Mel Gibson would flinch at what happens to this kid. And, unbelievably, the film was directed by the wee actor's da. Stranded in the Kalahari without water, Dirkie biblically wanders the desert with his pet terrier where he is harassed by hyenas, repeatedly injured, sleep-deprived, psychologically tortured, and finally left passed out and half-buried in the sand looking like an image from an Arrabal film. Disturbing and relentless right up to its oblique, ambigous and haunting last shot...and, oh, those dead puppies in the sand...dead puppies in the sand...See the rest of the movies being screened here. The art you see above is Johnny Ryan's cover for the January/February Cinefamily program. You can see more of Johnny's art here.
And finally, this is a movie poster for Lost in the Desert
on sale at Amazon.
*Previously: Cinefamily program cover by Chris Ware.