Director: Bronwen Hughes
Screenwriters: Bronwen Hughes, Bima Stagg

Institute History

  • 2004 Sundance Film Festival


Based on an astonishing true story, Stander examines the life of Andre Stander, a white police captain in Johannesburg, who, in the nightmarish chaos of a 1976 riot, killed several young, unarmed black men. Tormented by the undeniable immorality of his act, the hypocrisy of hiding behind a badge, and his own responsibility in perpetuating the ugliness of apartheid, Stander walked into a bank one day, pulled a gun, and hurled himself onto the other side of the law. Unflinchingly brazen, he would hit a bank on his lunch hour and return in the afternoon to head up the investigation, staring evenly into the eyes of bewildered bank clerks he'd robbed only hours earlier. Captured by his best friend and fellow cop, Stander escaped from a 32-year prison sentence and abandoned everything he knew to become, with two others, part of the most notorious outlaw gang in South Africa.

Featuring a riveting, hypnotic performance by Thomas Jane, Bronwen Hughes's stunning film dazzles and provokes. With nods to Bonnie and Clyde, Butch Cassidy and Sundance, and the taut, brooding crime dramas of the 1970s, Stander is a challenging rumination on guilt and redemption, crime and authority, and the nature of evil in an environment devoid of justice.

— Elizabeth Richardson

Screening Details

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