A group of young friends on a camping trip, deep in the South African countryside wake up to discover they have all swapped bodies. Their individual cultural heritage and experience of these strange happenings couldn't be more different; and stranded in the wilderness, they will have to navigate a personal-political labyrinth if their friendship and their lives are ever to be the same again. The stage is set for comedy to turn to tragedy, for the fantasy of South Africa's 'Rainbow Nation' to become a painful awakening.
It's hard to unpack any of those moments individually, but the strength of the film is that it's willing to push past the homilies we've all been taught about diversity and cooperation and focus on the messy politics and human feelings underneath.
High Fantasy has a great concept, but it's unfortunately poorly executed and often exhausting. It's frustrating to see a film this inventive and this willing to dive into these arguments lose itself along the way.
"High Fantasy" is a movie for the woke set in 2017; it's about the exploration of the beliefs we espouse on the surface, art that bores beneath that surface to mine its characters' true feelings. It's therefore uncomfortable to watch, but that's natural.
High Fantasy's unassuming, yet piercing examination of race, class and gender embeds Bass firmly in the pantheon of an exciting new wave of South African filmmaking characterized by introspective directors who are digging deep.