We shot this short character sketch of Aldane of the ‘Wenties Spinnerz’ with the hopes of one day making a whole lot more film about these crazy okes!
In Wentworth, a rough neighbourhood outside Durban, South Africa, there are 2 types of petrolheads: those who race, and those who spin. Keelyn drag races his souped-up Audi S3 against anyone who dares to challenge him. It will reach 270km/hour and destroy most adversaries but the real fun, he says, is running from the police. Aldane is a member of the ‘Wenties Spinnerz’ crew, a group of BMW stalwarts who perform wild stunts for devoted crowds in the car park of the local public swimming pool. 13-year-old schoolgirl Caitlin is a crowd favourite who never fails to impress.
Spinning and drag racing are both illegal but although the police are often present, they seldom prosecute drivers or intervene. In fact, they occasionally take part. The drivers say their aim is to inspire the youth with an alternative to gangsterism and crime but they are rumoured to be involved in all kinds dubious dealings.
Wenties gives us a glimpse into the adrenaline fuelled lives of these resident celebrities; the economic hardship and domestic pressure that they endure, the constant risk of injury or death and the recognition, admiration and sense of belonging that is their ultimate reward. Together they paint a portrait of a complex and paradoxical post-Apartheid South Africa where rules can be bent, identities morph to suit the situation and people express themselves in the most eccentric and unexpected ways.