Ella and her people have lived in Blue's Bay, a tiny hamlet on the promontory-side of a lagoon, in almost complete isolation for centuries. Being descendents of Scandinavian whale hunters, who established a whaling station there a century of more ago, and the local aboriginal - the now extinct Khoi-Khoi - a community eventually evolved which would defy all sense of logic as far as the Nationalist government's clear-cut racial divide between black, coloured and white was concerned. In appearance they range from Caucasian to Negroid, but are all interrelated.
It was not impossible for the entire human colour spectrum to be present within the same family. Therefore, they are also referred to as Lagoon-Basters. This stigma - this awareness of ‘being of colour', and then perhaps not - never really affected them. “Hey!” they would say, “Look! My brother is as white as the grace of God!”
On rare visits to the surrounding towns and confronted with Whites Only facilities, they would either enter and make nothing of it as the local whites know the Lagooners are ‘a special case'; or if they suspect animosity they would use Coloured ablution facilities, shops, train and bus stations. Eugenically they fit in everywhere - and then nowhere.
Shortly after 1950 the effect of the Group Areas Act was being felt across what is now known as the Western and Northern Cape (of course the Indian communities were victimized as well, but that is another story) as the Borderliners were classified and forcibly removed to new designated areas. Those who fell on the ‘right side of the fence' left their homes and moved to mostly lower-income white areas - where they were usually stigmatized as having been subjected to the classification process and therefore were eugenically questionable anyway.
The less fortunate ones - those who ‘fell on the wrong side - were packed off to coloured locations, places with irony-laden names like Paradise Valley. However, for more than 10 years Ella and her people were left unhindered. And rightly so, they believed. They were white.
Yes, their past is tainted with Khoi-Khoi blood, but the past is the past and should remain there. Didn't they, as one man, vote for the 1948 Nationalist government? Didn't Dr. Malan promise them that in return for their support they would remain what they are: white? Yes!
But then in 1961 a boat brings a white man - the lagooners knew he was the Department of Census and Statistics representative - across the water to them. The white man has a camera with which he takes black and white passport photographs of each of them, and when he leaves the man says: “I'll be back with your envelopes. And then you'll know what you are.”
With these few seemingly innocuous words the bedrock of Ella's people is first shaken and finally shattered - and sets Ella Blue off on a journey to, in the words of Lord Alfred Tennysson, ‘…become a name'.
Import Techinical Note:
I am testing some software that claims to be able to upgrade lower quality videos to higher quality including HD (full 1080i). The software supposedly implements in software the same algorythms being used in standalone DVD players that claim to have upconvert capabilities. The software is not a simple stretching exersize, but actually attempls to determine what the missing pixels/frames should have contained. The caps of these shows started out as less than VHS quality. I would appreciate any comments (in this torrent) on the quality. Each episode is being uploaded using different options of the upgrade software.