Oliver North’s short film, Mier (The Ant), explores two generations of South Africans who are caught hunting on illegal lands.

Boethie (Donny Ross) is a young man who finds himself in the middle of the desert with a jammed-up rifle. Weak and hungry, Boethie spots a Gemsbok, but before he can get his rifle ready, a much older hunter, Oupa (Isak Kruper), chases it away after a missed arrow. As Oupa helps Boethie with his rifle, Oupa tries to instill his traditional values as a San hunter/gatherer in the young Boethie. The stubborn youth leaves out of frustration.

“Oupa tries to instill his traditional values as a San hunter/gatherer in the young Boethie.”

With nothing more to live for, Boethie sets up his rifle in an attempt to unalive himself. After an unsuccessful attempt, Boethie discovers a sizeable uncut diamond under the desert sand. Seeing that his every need will be taken care of, Boethie spots an armed mercenary (Shane Douman) heading his way.

Writer/director Oliver North masterfully tells this nuanced thriller with the most modest of resources…in the middle of the desert and with only three actors. Talk about making something out of nothing. North’s cast may be inexperienced in the acting game, but manage to pull off North’s story admirably.

Mier takes a unique approach to tell a story about the differences between generations by turning this tale into a thriller. Mier ends with a touching note about family.

Mier (The Ant) screened as part of National Short Film Day and can be viewed on Film Movement Plus.

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