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A Director(TM)s Letter: To Actress Playing Mandisa

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A Director's Letter: To Actress Playing Mandisa Jenessa White Candidate #: 000745184 1,257 Words 8/February/2009 Dr. Marvin Grays Statement of Intent The work that will be used in this internal assessment is Mother to Mother, by Sindiwe Magona. The following body of work is a director's words, in a letter format, to an actress that will be acting in the movie My Son Killed Your Daughter and playing the character of Mandisa. The letter is intended to focus on the personality of Mandisa, her role and her story within the novel. It is also designed to express how the director would like the character to be portrayed within the movie. These elements will be explored by a variety of descriptions of the novel from the director, by using a few quotes and also an in-depth character analysis. The letter will also try to connect certain emotions with the actress. By exploring these main elements it will hopefully give the actress ways to relate to her character, so that she might be able to play the role in an easier way. Dear Actress, Well first of all I would like to send you a warm welcome and thank you for accepting the role of Mandisa in the film My Son Killed Your Daughter. ...read more.


Many people say that the story is an apology to the mother of Amy Biehl. However, it is displayed as more of an explanation of why her daughter was killed and that it could have been any white woman at the time. It also is to show how society has allowed and fueled violence and South Africa, and to show the extent of what that has done. Mandisa does ask for forgiveness from God, but this is never written down into the letter. "God, you know my heart. I am not saying my child shouldn't be punished for his sin. But I am a mother, with a mother's heart. The cup You have given me is too bitter to sallow. The shame. The hurt of the other mother. The young woman whose tender life was cut so cruelly short. God, please forgive my son. Forgive him for this terrible, terrible sin." (Sindiwe Magona 4) This is the private prayer of Mandisa that shows how she truly feels which is sadness and she feels it for both races which is important. This passage sticks out to me as well for the mother relation. ...read more.


While on screen I would like for you to find ways to display your frustration with situation, without making it overbearingly obvious to the audience. My favorite attribute of Mandisa is that she can be very straight forward with people. She reminds me of an old kind of bitter grandmother that always has an unnecessary yet humorous comment about everything. This is very common now-a-days and I would really like for this to be played up in the screenplay without trying to make the movie too much like a comedy. You may be able to find many ways to relate to this character. Her personality is amusing in a strange way; she is street smart, skilled, compassionate and strong-minded. She and her people have experienced many and great injustices, extreme poverty, abuses both personal and institutional. She uses her personal strength to battle with both the political aftermath and with a mother's unimaginable grief over the loss of two children: her own son and the young woman that he has killed. Once again I would like to thank you for joining on with our project My Son Killed Your Daughter. I would hope that the background, analysis and tidbits I have provided you with are enough to help with your becoming of the character of Mandisa. ...read more.

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