Shepherds and Butchers

Synopsis: SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS follows a jaded lawyer, John Weber (Steve Coogan), who takes on a seemingly hopeless multiple murder case and uncovers scandalous shortcomings in South Africa's capital punishment system as he mounts a defense for a prison guard traumatized by the executions he took part in.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Oliver Schmitz
  5 wins & 15 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
106 min

"Magazine hill",

they call this place.

Dead end.


Why would labuschagne

and the other men

in the minibus

have come up here?

He claims

he can't remember any of it.

So, Leon's bakkie

was parked here.

He left the keys

in the ignition,

then he ran that way.

The minibus taxi

belonging to

the football team was...

Came to rest here.

Point-blank range.

The gun they found

was registered in Leon's name.

He dragged

the bodies over there,

then he lined them up.

Wait. He lined the bodies up?

Why would he do that?

None of it makes any sense.


You can see

the prison from over here,

where he worked.

Who's the judge?

Van zyl, the hanging judge.

The two of you should get on

like chalk and cheese.

Do you think

the state should kill people?

Majority support

the death penalty.

The majority


burning at the stake,

witch dunking, crucifixion.


Leon, this is John weber.

He's a senior advocate.

He's been asked to defend you.

I've been asked to,

but I don't

particularly want to.

Then why don't you go home?

Because your case is so bad,

no one else will take it.

I already told you,

i don't want you to defend me.

I don't want to talk.

I don't want to

see you, either.

Well, we've

fulfilled our obligations.

Let's go.

Hang on.

I've had enough of this cock.

I've spent a shitload of time

working on this case!

Listen to me, Leon.

You might be feeling

sorry for yourself now,

but you're gonna feel

a hell of a lot worse

when you get a death sentence.

I met your wife,

your little daughter, Esme.

When you last see her?

Six months ago?

I read in your file that

you were a warder in

the prison service.

I suggest you find out

what's in store for you.

Speak to the warders

when you go back to your cell,

ask them what

happens on death row.

I know what

happens on death row.

I worked there.

When this happened,

you were working

on death row at

maximum security prison?

Surely, you were too young.

I started working

there over two years ago.

On gallows duty?

Leave me alone.

Nobody gets away

with killing seven people.

Unless they're the police,

of course.

Bad break, my boy.

There's no defense

for an attack like that.

No, the guy's as good as dead.

Good serve, Andrew!

Paul, stand further back,

you get a better

chance to get to the ball!

Look at it this way, John.

Everyone gets a bad

case now and then.

You just got a hopeless one.

With soldiers who

return from combat,

a minority suffer

mental breakdown

after one

traumatic experience.

But only a very small minority

avoid breakdown

after prolonged exposure.

Which is what

this would have been.

In fact,

he reminds me of

veterans I've treated.

I'd say he's in

a similar state

of emotional collapse.

So, what you're saying,

as far as

the prosecution is concerned,

is that your tests

don't prove mental breakdown,

but also don't rule

out the possibility

that he could be

a racist or a psychopath.

My opinion?

Something triggered

a violent response.

Any idea what that

trigger might be?

I'm afraid not.

So, it follows, Dr.


that there might

actually not be a trigger.

That's correct.

The trial of Leon labuschagne,

the man who shot

dead seven members

of a mamaloni football club,

starts in the pretoria

high court this week.

Human rights advocate,

John weber,

who's defending labuschagne,

is well known internationally

as an opponent of

capital punishment.

According to police sources,


motives for the shooting

are unclear,

and any links to

right wing organizations

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    "Shepherds and Butchers" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Jul 2021. <>.

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