This is an okay Afrikaans-language thriller about a schoolteacher, Emma (Leandie du Randt), whose car breaks down in South Africa’s arid Karoo region on her way to her father’s home for a holiday visit. Compounding misfortunes, Emma is witness to a drug-related execution and must flee for her life through the desert whilst pursued by a gang of criminals. Unfortunately for the bad guys – led by the icy Bosman (Neels van Jaarsveld), who comes across like a cross between Gian Maria Volonté and Bono – it turns out that the resourceful Emma was trained in military survival skills by her ex-Recce father. Will the direness of her situation be enough to goad Emma to finally dispense with her philosophy of nonviolence? Furthermore, will she ever learn to shoot straight? Finding out makes for a fun hundred minutes.
3.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Hunting Emma is:
Family-ambivalent. Emma’s father (Tertius Meintjes) is depicted as a devoted parent whose lessons stand his daughter in good stead in the face of a challenge. Emma, however, displays a distaste for domesticity, and teaching seems to fulfill whatever impulse she has toward motherhood.
Class-conscious. One of the crooks is a rich, recreational criminal.
Feminist. “My favorite kind of kitchen work – ironing,” martial arts expert Emma declares after tediously dispatching a sexist gang member with an iron. This fight, significantly, takes place in an abandoned home.
Anti-white. Leave it to South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, the agency responsible for Black Economic Empowerment, to facilitate the production of a film in which the threat to a woman traveling alone through the “Rainbow Nation” is a pack of white rapists and drug dealers. Emma’s mocha-colored students, meanwhile, give a glimpse of the country’s non-white future.