The Guest: An episode in the Life of Eugène Marais

(Redirected from The Guest)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Guest: An episode in the Life of Eugène Marais is a film written by Athol Fugard (1932- ) and Ross Devenish (1939-).

Afrikaans title Die Besoeker: 'n episode in die lewe van Eugène Marais. Also known as The Guest at Steenkampskraal (on UK television), or simply referred to as The Guest.

The original text

A film about Eugène Marais, Afrikaner intellectual, naturalist, poet, author, playwright and political rebel, who went to live on a remote farm, in an attempt to overcome his drug habit. There Marais observes the animal world and comes to understand the essence of dependency.

Originally called The Guest at Steenkampskraal, the film was directed by Ross Devenish with Athol Fugard, Marius Weyers, Gordon Vorster, Wilma Stockenström, Trix Pienaar and James Borthwick.

The film is based on an episode in Leon Rousseau[1]'s biography of Eugene Nielen Marais, called Die Groot Verlange ("The Great Longing") dealing with the months Marais spent on the Van Rooyen family's farm to cope with this drug addiction.

The film was first shown at the XXX Fetival Internazionale Del Film, Locarno 4 - 14 August 1977, and went on general release on 14 September, 1977. The English text was published by David Philip in 1977.

Translations and adaptations

The film was also released in a dubbed Afrikaans version titled Die Besoeker: 'n episode in die lewe van Eugène Marais, for the Afrikaans version, directed by Katinka Heyns.

The Afrikaans text was also published by Ad Donker publishers in 1977, the translation credited to Wilma Stockenström and she is listed as the copyright holder of the Afrikaans text. In a Foreword to the text, Wilma Stockenström discusses the translation, stating that the published translation is not a free translation, but a reflection of the text done by her for dubbing purposes and thus bearing in mind lip synchronization of the Afrikaans and English. Schalk Jacobsz is named as "sinkroniseerder" (i.e. responsible for synchronization of the dubbing) in the "Erkenning" ("Acknowledgements") in the book. Some other sources, e.g. IMDb[2] and Daar doer in die fliek by Leon van Nierop (2016), name Schalk Jacobsz as co-translator of the text.

The film credits

Script written by Athol Fugard (based on an episode in Die Groot Verlange the award-winning and popular biography of Eugène Marais by novelist and publisher Leon Rousseau).

Film directed by Ross Devenish, with Athol Fugard, Marius Weyers, Gordon Vorster, Wilma Stockenström, James Borthwick, Emile Aucamp, Trix Pienaar, Susan MacLennan, Thomas Masicane and Grace Nhlovu.

Produced by Gerald Berman and Guest Productions Pty Ltd., cinematography by Rod Stewart, film editing by Lionel Selwyn, costume design by Jeni Halliday, makeup by Derrick Bosch, production management by Penny Fry, assistant director Bernard H. Nathanson and continuity by Cheryl Frootko.

Dubbing of the Afrikaans translation of the text directed by Katinka Heyns.


Athol Fugard and Ross Devenish 1977. Published English script of The Guest: An episode in the Life of Eugène Marais. Johannesburg: Ad Donker

Athol Fugard, Ross Devenish and Wilma Stockenström. 1977. Published Afrikaans script of Die Besoeker: 'n episode in die lewe van Eugène Marais. Johannesburg: Ad Donker

Athol Fugard and Ross Devenish. 1976. DVD of the film by Guest Productions Pty Ltd.

André le Roux and Lilla Fourie. 1982. Filmverlede. Geskiedenis van die Afrikaanse speelfilm. Pretoria: Universiteit van Suid-Afrika: p. 180.

Keyan Tomaselli. 2013. The Cinema of Apartheid: Race and Class in South African Film. London: Routledge

NELM Poster Collection [Collection: POSTERS]: 1997. 21. 1

Photographs and publicity material relating to The Guest held by NELM in various locations.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to South African Films

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page