A much-due celluloid redemption for Hansie Cronje
A film based on the life of the late Hansie Cronje, the former South Africa captain, is currently under production. 'Hansie' is produced by Cronje's screenwriter brother, Frans.
Hansie Cronje, who died in a plane crash on June 1, 2002 had left the game in disgrace when a life ban was imposed on him in 2000 for his involvement in a match-fixing scandal with Indian bookmakers.
"This film is not just about cricket, it's about redemption. In the end, Hansie found redemption and was able to rebuild his life. I also believe that if we cannot forgive people when they make mistakes, then we are not human," Frans told the Independent. "It's relevant to a country like South Africa. If Nelson Mandela can come out of prison after 27 years preaching forgiveness after everything that had happened to him and the black population, then we should be able to forgive Hansie.
"Hansie realised that he was wrong and he was sorry for it all. He knew what he had done was unethical. He knew it was wrong but we all do things that are wrong. The important thing is to admit it and turn away from it," Frans said. "He was very harshly treated by the media and especially the British media, and the cricket establishment."
The film crew are shooting on location in Cape Town, George, and Johannesburg, with plans to shoot in London next month. Francois Rautenbach, a 35-year-old South African actor, will play the part of Hansie Cronje. The character of Bertha [Hansie's wife, who has since remarried], will be played by Sarah Thompson, a 27-year-old American actress who played a lead role in the television series '7th Heaven'.
The £4 million [approx. US $8 million] film will be directed by Regardt van den Bergh and is set for release on September 26, 2008.