Much of Afrikaans cinema before and after 1994 is characterized by a historically dominant heroic narrative. In response to this dominance, this study offers a postheroic framework for contemporary Afrikaans cinema to demonstrate the ways in which selected contemporary Afrikaans films, especially those films produced by the Bosbok Ses production company � Roepman, Verraaiers and Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux � offer alternatives to Afrikaans cinema�s regular nostalgic and nationalistic indulgences.
To arrive at a conceptual framework of the postheroic, this study examines Afrikaner nationalism in traditional historical Afrikaans cinema and contemporary Afrikaans cinema and how it thematically manifests through a heroic narrative. In response to the particular crystallization of nationalism in contemporary Afrikaans cinema, a postheroic framework is demonstrated to negate ideological and social exclusion in selected contemporary Afrikaans films. In this sense, flawed attempts at multiculturalism in contemporary Afrikaans cinema are replaced with double occupancy. This framework is primarily informed by the work of pre-eminent German film scholar Thomas Elsaesser.
Elsaesser theorises a postheroic narrative for a European post-nation. Drawing on Elsaesser�s work extensively, this study uses relevant elements of a postheroic narrative to interrogate the social and political content of a contested space such as South Africa. Furthermore, the notion of the postheroic in cinema illuminates and informs my critical reading of the Bosbok Ses historical dramas, Verraaiers (Eilers 2013) and Stuur Groete Aan Mannetjies Roux (Eilers 2013).
The study identifies the following markers for a postheroic narrative for contemporary Afrikaans cinema:
� atemporality (a non-adherence to chronological and linear screen time)
� the film screen as surface of flux (the screen as site of contestation instead of placation)
� the cinematic spatial inclusion of the political other as an act of double occupancy � a posthero who repeatedly fails as a traditional hero and performs, in the end, Elsaesser�s notion of parapraxis
� the abjectification of the hero�s physical body (as evidenced primarily in Verraaiers)
� stronger female characters who counter the historically nationalistic heroines of the preceding decades (as evidenced primarily in Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux).
By using these markers to critically discuss these films I argue for the legitimacy of a postheroic framework for selected contemporary Afrikaans films. This postheroic framework dismantles Afrikaner nationalist rhetoric.
The study concludes that a postheroic framework, drawing on Elsaesser�s work in this regard, provides a politically productive set of key ideas and concepts with which to critically engage with selected contemporary Afrikaans films.