Friday, 27 November 2009


FOKOFPOLISIEKAR (fuck-off-police-car), a South African documentary film about 5 young Afrikaans punk rockers that transformed a generation during a unique time in history; in one of the most reluctantly complex and evolving societies of the 21st century.

In 2003 an Afrikaans punk band was a laughable idea. Many thought the name crazy; and then the music came and many were enraged - publicly protesting "die bende" (the gang) who had the strength of their own voice and the desire to question And in a place where passion and brandy meet - many thousands became fans for life.

The film follows the story of the band over 4 years as they forge a place for themselves and their fans in a new South Africa; in the process challenging the stigmas and expectations placed on them by their Afrikaner heritage, the church and tradition.

Through the controversy and chaos, FOKOFPOLISIEKAR rose above their detractors and initiated a change in how the media perceived them and portrayed them. Through the death threats and Christian backlash they stood tall - sentries for the right to identity, freedom of thought, and the raw and often unseemly right to express one’s own truth. They unleashed a debate in the nation’s Afrikaans community that sought finally to heal the wound or at the very least to acknowledge it.

The band has been embroiled in controversy since its inception. Initially, radio stations were hesitant to play the band's tracks because of the profane "Fokof" ("fuck off") in the band's name. The nickname Polisiekar ("police car") was soon adopted by that part of the mainstream media who did not want to pronounce the full name in fear of objection from the public. The band's name is also controversial considering the crime situation in South Africa, a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Much outrage has also been expressed by the Christian community in South-Africa over the use of allegedly "anti-religious" lyrics in many of the bands songs. Lyrics such as "Kan iemand dalk 'n god bel/En vir hom sĂȘ ons het hom nie meer nodig nie," directly translated as "Could somebody phone a god/And tell him we don't need him anymore," (from their hit song "Hemel Op Die Platteland") has been met with some resistance from Christian groups.

In 2004 the band were involved in a bar fight when a group of men recognized them and insulted van Coke, calling him a "faggot". Since then the band has earned a reputation for fistfights that often break out at their CD launches and gigs. Another example is the CD launch of Lugsteuring, where the band had to jump off the stage to help stop a fight.

Controversy surrounding the band peaked in April 2006, when bass guitarist Myburgh wrote the words "fok god" ("fuck god") on the wallet of a fan while they were discussing religion. This occurred when he was intoxicated and near the end of the show. Religious leaders from all over South-Africa used various media (including radio interviews and letters to newspapers) to express their disapproval of the band's religious sentiment. This almost resulted in the band being excluded from the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival. In the end the band was allowed to play on the condition that the words "fok god" not be sung in any of their songs. The band later asked the public to forgive them, as that would be "...what Jesus would have done".

Some of the recent controversy surrounding the band came from their new video for the single "Brand Suid-Afrika" which hints at homosexuality, alcoholism, racism and anarchism.

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