Boris Gerrets
Lamentations of Judas
Part of
Lamentations of Judas

Lamentations of Judas

Boris Gerrets

98 min.
English and Portuguese
Subtitles: Catalan, Spanish and English

Members of the 32nd Battalion of the South African Army in the 70s and 80s show their faces for the first time and speak of betrayal, remorse and colonialism.


Boris Gerrets
President Kapa
Cinema Delicatessen
Iris Lammertsma, Boudewijn Koole
Eric Velthuis, Serge Lalou
Nic Hofmeyr
Thuthuka Sibisi
Boris Gerrets, NCE
Production company
Witfilm, Kvfilms, Les Films d'Ici

A group of old men refuse to leave Pomfret, an abandoned mining town on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, near the border between South Africa and Botswana. Many of them were born in Angola and were recruited to fight in the war of independence against Portugal. When the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) declared independence in 1975, they were left helpless and hired as mercenaries to fight in the 32nd Battalion of white South Africans against their own people. They were known as "The Terrible". Executioners, as well as victims, they were forced to defend the Apartheid regime in the colonial struggle in Namibia and in several South African municipalities. They currently live in extreme poverty, have nowhere to go and the traumas of their past continue to torture them.

Filmmaker Boris Gerrets died in March 2020 and culminated a unique filmography full of awards, with an unforgettable and disturbing film testament. The unpublished testimony of members of the 32nd Battalion and the staging of the biblical account of Judas Iscariot give voice to a group of imperfect human beings marginalized by official history.

DocsBarcelona Panorama Section, supported by ARTE

About the direction
Boris Gerrets

Boris Gerrets


Boris Gerrets was an acclaimed film director based in Amsterdam and Berlin. He also worked as a scri...

DocsBarcelona Trajectory

DocsBarcelona Festival · Panorama
Edició 2021

Awards and festivals

Movies that Matter
Netherlands, 2020
Netherlands, 2020
Germany, 2020
Republic of South Africa, 2020
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Recently deceased documentary filmmaker Boris Gerrets gives voice to a group of forgotten former soldiers in his last bittersweet film.

— Omar Larabi · Filmkrant

A hybrid docu-fiction, Lamentations of Judas, is a powerfully unsettling take on the dangers of viewing history through a single lens.

— Nick Holdsworth · Modern Times Review

By connecting an underexposed side of recent history with a familiar story of betrayal and redemption, the film transcends this specific human experience.

— Roosje van der Kamp · Het Parool
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