'One of the greatest stories of war and adventure ever told'
Based on the epic story of Deneys Reitz
A story of the Anglo-Boer War
Isolated. Outnumbered. Till the bitter end.
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About Commando

The Story Begins

In 1903, on the alien and exotic island of Madagascar, between bouts of malaria and tropical cyclones, a young man named Deneys Reitz found himself alone and in exile. With few friends and little comforts, he began to scribble in his journal what would come to be called ‘the greatest tale of war and adventure ever told’. Against impossible odds, he had just survived the Anglo-Boer War, a little known and lesser understood conflict between two tiny Boer (Dutch speaking South African) republics and the British Empire.

For nearly a century, Commando (the name Reitz chose for his journal) has captured the imagination of readers the world over. In many ways, it is a plain, unvarnished tale – wonderful because of, rather than in spite of, its simplicity and realism. Perhaps Gen. Jan Smuts, Reitz’ mentor, lifelong friend and military commander says it best in his introduction to Reitz’ book:

“Wars pass, but the human soul endures; the interest is not so much in the war as in the human experience behind it. This book tells the simple, straightforward story of what the Boer War meant to one participant in it.”

That said, of gripping adventures, there is full measure. The exciting incidents, hair-breadth escapes, dare-devilry and dangers he passed through are literally true, and prove, in an unforgettable way, that fact really is stranger than fiction. This website marks the beginning of the development of the feature film adaptation. Here you will find all the information relating to the vision of the film. If you are a producer who shares our passion for the narrative and the genre, and like us sees the market value in the production, you can get in touch with us here. If you love story, cinema and tales of adventure, we would love for you to follow our journey as we begin what will be a wild and exhilarating adventure of our own as we bring this film to screens the world over. Stay in touch by subscribing to occasional new updates and by connecting with us on the social media links at the bottom of the page.

Reitz had the uncanny knack of living through the war as though leafing through the pages of an adventure story.

Thomas Packenham

The adventures of this handful of resolute men led by General Smuts forms one of the most interesting episodes in the whole course of the guerrilla war.

The Times’ History v. 302

Overview

Commando is an epic adventure survival tale set during the Anglo Boer War. It’s an adaption of a journal entitled Commando, left to us by Deneys Reitz. He was 17 when he began fighting in the war and he went on to live and record what has been called “the greatest narrative of war and adventure ever written”. It’s a gripping account of mobile guerrilla warfare and is a tale of dare-devilry, heroism, supreme physical endurance as well as the inevitable horrors that come with war. But ultimately it’s also a simple story about self-discovery and gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to call a place home.

Deneys Reitz’ journal, Commando, has been hailed as ‘The greatest narrative of war and adventure ever told’. It’s been in publication for almost 100 years and in that time has gained an incredibly passionate global following.

To quote the authority on the war, Thomas Packenham,

“Reitz had the uncanny knack of living through the war as though leafing through the pages of an adventure story”.

We feel it’s time to adapt this gem of a narrative into a feature film. This website serves to contain our vision, build our audience, create credibility and attract interest from investors.

We’ve begun the journey. In 2007 we produced a short film based on an excerpt of the book. The film was part funded by the South African subscription channel, M-Net and went on to screen internationally across Africa on South African pay network, DSTV. Additionally it has screened in a number of prestigious international film festivals, most notably placing as a finalist in Europe’s largest short film festival Sehseuchte and being invited to screen at Sequence-Court Metrage (France).

To compliment the existing skill set of the creative and production team, we are looking for a senior producer(s) experienced in raising investment through state funding bodies, with ties to the South African, European, British and American markets. Our ideal producer will have access to distribution and sales agents and has experience in leading an official co-production.

Additionally we are looking for early stage investors and Executive Producers looking to help take the project through its early capital raising and development stages.

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Reviews

This story must be told… it has all the elements of a grand epic.. and of course it’s all true… a movie on scale of with Gladitor, Braveheart and Patriot… SA time to tell your tale of valour to a world that totally misunderstands the Afrikaner and Boers.

YouTube Fan

This is more than a record of war and adventure. We have not only an unforgettable picture of mobile guerrilla warfare, but also an accurate description of life among the Boer forces. It is given, not in an abstract generalized form, but as the actual experience of one particular individual. As we read, we follow

Gen. Jan Smuts

The adventures of this handful of resolute men led by General Smuts forms one of the most interesting episodes in the whole course of the guerrilla war.

The Times’ History v. 302

Reitz had the uncanny knack of living through the war as though leafing through the pages of an adventure story.

Thomas Packenham

Team

Stephen de Villiers

Writer/Director

Having written and directed the short film version of Commando, Stephen is currently driving the project. Working between Australia and South Africa, he is graduate of AFTRS, with a filmogrpahy listing 9 short films, 1 feature documentary and 1 short feature. Career highlights include screening at the Cannes Short Film Metrage and the San Francisco Int Film Festival.

Kirsty Stark

Producer (Australia)

Winning Best Emerging Producer at the South Australian Screen Awards in 2012, Kirsty’s company, Epic Films produced the hit web series, Wastelander Panda before she went on to produce her first feature film, A Month of Sunday’s in partnership with Madman Productions.

Connect

Download the Film!

For some time now, we’ve been thrilled to receive requests from all over the world from people wanting to know more about the film and specifically to purchase a copy of our short film. As a way of raising early funds, we’re offering our short film as a reward for backing the project. The PayPal Donate button below makes it easy to donate to our cause. It’s your support and interest which keeps this project alive! All backers, regardless of how much you donate, will receive a digital download of Commando our short film. Every cent is greatly appreciated.

Click Donate to receive a copy of the short film





In the meantime, we love hearing from people who share a passion for the subject matter, so drop us a message through the contact form below, or directly at:

info@commandothefilm.com