My second Made in Cape Town movie of the weekend was Rendition, the first Hollywood production of South African director Gavin Hood, who won a Best Foreign Language Oscar for Tsotsi. Cinematography was by another high flying South African, Dion Beebe.
“Rendition” refers to the ability of the CIA to detain anyone suspected of terrorist dealings, and then to squirrel them away to foreign countries where they can be interrogated (read: tortured) indefinitely, without the fuss and bother of things like, oh, law, or due process. As the subject matter for a movie, it’s obviously pressingly relevant in these days of covert internment, interrogation and torture, post 9-11.
In Rendition, an Egyptian-American is snatched on the way home from a conference, and his pregnant wife has to try to find out what’s happened to him. The film begins in South Africa, though unfortunately only a few fleeting moments take place in Cape Town, against the gorgeous backdrop of Table Mountain.
The bulk of the action alternates between Washington DC and an undisclosed Third World, Middle Eastern country – which for filmmakers these days means Morocco.