Fantasia Festival: Indemnity
Cape Town firefighter Theo (Jarrid Geduld) is suffering from PTSD after a particularly deadly fire killed his fellow fighters and left him sidelined. He’s put into psychotherapy and on psychotropics to deal with his persistent nightmares and in hopes that he may get back on his feet. His journalist wife Angela (Nicole Fortuin) is contacted by Sam Isaacs (Abduragman Adams) a whistleblower who is determined against all odds to uncover a political conspiracy that seeks to take over all the governments in Africa. Theo is on the books as a potential pawn for these conspirators. Soon Theo finds himself on the run from the police for a murder he’s positive he didn’t commit. Was he framed? Or did one of his violent nightmares cause him to do something he didn’t mean to do?
Written and directed by Travis Taute, Indemnity is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that puts the effects of trauma front and center. It offers psychological drama coupled with some great action sequences. Jarrid Geduld offers a multi-dimensional performance offering the audience a damaged and empathetic hero that we can easily root for.
As someone who suffers from PTSD, I was intrigued by how Taute presented the disorder throughout the story. It’s consistently part of Theo’s story and becomes a critical plot point in the climax of the film. It’s unclear if the movie is criticizing psychotherapy or using it simply as a plot device. That’s up to the audience to decide.
Indemnity had its world premiere at the 2021 Fantasia Film Festival.