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Driving to a location one morning Claire had to talk me down. She had a calming influence on me. When we got there the village had been torched and our hero was kicking the shit out of the Cubans. There was a man spread-eagled on the ground and our hero was kicking him in the balls.
‘Quiet on set. Were rolling.’
‘Scene 145 take 23. Action!’
Hero kicks man in the balls.
“Good for you Joe?”
“Not quite” says the director “Lets put more into it”
“Take 24”
Man gets kicked in the balls.
I know he’s a professional stuntman and has protection but this is sick. The man is a sadist.
The irony we would find out in hindsight was that less than 200 miles away across the border into Angola the Cubans were kicking the shit out of the South African army. The battle of Cuito Carnivale was being orchestrated by supreme commander Fidel Castro himself from his HQ in Havana. Maps, pins, radios, cigars. This was the battle that turned the tide in Southern Africa and marked the beginning of the end of the apartheid regime.
Take 26: Man gets kicked in the balls.
I had a sunset shot to scout and as we drove towards it we felt free of the conflict. The desert took on a purple glow in the magic hour and the only sound to be heard was the K-Zick of the motor drive.


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