Synopsis by Andrea LeVasseur
Canadian filmmaker John Greyson teams up with South African activist Jack Lewis to direct the period romantic drama Proteus. Based on a true story from 1735, the story involves a forbidden love affair between two prisoners in a colony near Cape Town. Black servant Claas Blank (Rouxnet Brown) is arrested for stealing back his own cattle from a white man. Because he has learned to speak English and Dutch, he is allowed to help European botanist Virgil Niven (Shaun Smyth) cultivate flowers. Part of his punishment is fetching water with white Dutch prisoner Jacobsz (Neil Sandilands), who eventually becomes his lover. After Niven leaves the colony, Blank and Jacobsz are caught and forced to confess. Proteus was shown at the 2003 Toronto Film Festival.
forbidden-love, prison, homosexual, botany, cattle, colonialism, servant, South-Africa