‘Katutura’ blockbuster raises the bar

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By Alvine Kapitako

WINDHOEK – Odile Müller, who effortlessly plays “Esme” in the breath-taking ‘Katutura’ movie that premiered last Thursday says she will embrace future acting opportunities.

“I have discovered how much I really enjoy acting and it’s something that I want to take further into the future,” she told New Era on Wednesday.

Müller notes that the movie created a platform that movie makers could use as a benchmark.

“This movie just showed what Namibia has to offer and it showed the country that we have the resources and talent to make something world renowned,” said the 26-year-old former Miss Namibia.

The movie narattes the story of people in Katutura, who have to endure daily struggles that come with the life of living in a township.
The movie not only focusses on crime, drug abuse, violence, but it also shows the resilience of the community. The movie follows a group of characters experiencing the gravity of living in Namibia’s biggest township.

Ex-convict Dangi (Chops Tshoopara) has to deal with living a law-abiding life, a son born out of wedlock and an old flame (Esme), who his all-trusting wife does not know about.

Gangster Shivago (Obed Emvula) explores a new market to sell his drugs and Kondja (Gift Uzera) – a teenager in a wheelchair, who helps street kids, falls in love for the first time.

Their paths intertwine and their lives collide in both hopeful and brutal ways.

Müller effortlessly plays the role of “Esme”, a mother addicted to drugs. Esme who lost her parents at a tender age suffers from a lot of emotional pain because of the life she lives with nothing much going well for her.

Despite the great acting skills she portrayed, Müller says she does not have past acting experience or formal training in acting.
“Florian (Schott, the director) calls it raw talent. But, I do have to give credit to my many years of dancing – ballet, contemporary, African and Latin. Some of that demands emotion and expression. So that helped me along in terms of interpreting Esme’s emotions into the final product,” she said.

She revealed she thoroughly did research on how to act by amongst others, watching movies and borrowing ideas from other actors and making them her own and seeing how she could use them in a certain script.

Besides, the director was her unofficial acting coach, she says. “I had a lot of one-on-one sessions with the director, Florian,” she adds.
Her most difficult scene to portray in the movie was the scene where Esme (Müller) confesses to Kondja, a wheelchair-bound young man that she is the reason he is in the wheelchair.

“That was definitely the most difficult scene to shoot. I didn’t have any personal experience to draw that from, so I had to create that pain and that guilt from scratch,” she adds.

What she loves about the movie is the fact that it is Namibian. “When I watched it, I obviously had a bit of preconception of what to expect and I was scared that it was going to be another Namibian film that people don’t take seriously. But, I was actually blown away by the final product,” she said.

Müller says the movie ‘Katutura’ has taught her that everyone has their struggles every day. “What ‘Katutura’ has taught me is that it’s not just about me. There are so many people that are suffering out there and that suffering usually causes a ripple effect and unless you are good in the world there will always be pain and suffering,” she says philosiphical.

She adds that the movie has taught her that Katutura is a community and a kind of one big family.

“It’s completely different from what I thought, it actually was. I learnt a lot about it and that area of our country,” Müller confessed.
Müller, who refers to herself as an artistic being because of her many talents, namely dancing, writing, acting, singing and modelling, says people should do what they love in order to be the best.

“My mum and husband are firm believers of doing something that you love and doing it well,” she says, when asked how she has managed to be a good artistic being. “I’m just lucky that I’ve had opportunities to do all of it,” she says.
The film is written and produced by Obed Emvula.

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