Young Woman and the Sea


Robyn Sassen

A freelance arts writer since 1998, I fell in love with the theatre as a toddler, proved rubbish as a ballerina: my starring role was as Mrs Pussy in Noddy as a seven-year-old, and earned my stripes as an academic in Fine Arts and Art History, in subsequent years. I write for a range of online and print publications, including the Sunday Times, the Mail & Guardian and and was formerly the arts editor of the SA Jewish Report, a weekly newspaper with which I was associated for 16 years.
Robyn Sassen


CHILD, alone: Gedion Oduor Wekesa is Kingsley in ‘Styx’. Photograph courtesy imdb

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THE ADJECTIVE USED to describe a persecuted community is dynamite. It can represent the psychological difference between your being able to recognise those someones in the community as people just like you, or “others” that are not like you at all, and therefore have nothing to do with you. Wolfgang Fischer’s masterpiece Styx is an essay — in German, with English subtitles — on the contemporary global refugee crisis and will have you on the edge of your seat for its 94 minute duration.

Similar to Alfonso Cuarón’s 2013 film Gravity that contemplates the issue of intergalactic pollution, Styx has a tiny cast and situates its main character, played by Susanne Wolff in the hostile reach of the open sea. She’s armed with her imperialist competence, her skills, her beautiful boat with all that opens and shuts and she’s out there looking for the artificial jungle experiment coined by…

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