Four Corners

Words: Kate Pinchuck
Images: Sourced
Ian Gabriel took his chance with chess and earned himself a foreign feature film award


Four Corners is a South African crime thriller set in the Cape Flats and focused on the rivalry between the Number gangs. Not only did Ian Gabriel direct the film but also wrote it along with Terence Hammond and Hofmeyr Scholtz. The fillm features Brendon Daniels, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Irshaad Ally and Jezriel Skei.

Ricardo, a 13 year old chess prodigy who grew up on the Flats has been taken under the wing of Gasant, the leader of the 26’s. Gasant is preparing Ricardo as a potential gang member, threatening his possibility of overcoming his circumstances and falling into a dangerous lifestyle. Ricardo’s father, Farakhan, who he has never known, has just been released from prison. And as a former member of the 28’s, Farakhan returns to the Flats, but in the rival 26’s territory.

Four Corners is the first film to explore the hundred year old rivalry between these gangs. Interestingly, the majority of the actors actually grew up on the Cape Flats. Thus, presumably lending it a unique authenticity. All of the actors in the prison scenes were cast from either an outreach rehabilitation centre for recovered addicts and ex-gang members, or from a juvenile delinquent reformatory.


Gabriel clearly intended to use the film itself as an outreach project, as well as to illuminate the realities of life in a gang warfare zone. The movie was filmed in the Cape Flats, in areas actually occupied by gangs, where the media and even the police, are reluctant to enter.

The soundtrack promises to be fresh and exciting. It is composed by Markus Wormstorm (of The Real Estate Agents fame) and features Felix LaBand, Khuli Chana, Rattex and many more.