With its scruffy, laconic anti-hero, savage sense of humour and bleak air of working-class desperation, ‘Triomf’ initially feels like a South African take on TV’s ‘Shameless’. But this tale of a white trash Johannesburg family on the eve of black liberation soon reveals itself as a far more sadistic proposition. The episodic plot spirals inexorably towards disaster as misanthropic fridge repairman Treppie decides to hire a whore for his violent, incestuous, epileptic nephew Lambert on his twenty-first birthday. The script scores a few sly political points and there are isolated moments of dark wit and raw, ugly emotional power. But mostly this is a sour, slipshod affair which laughs at, rather than engages with, its cast of ignorant hillbilly freaks and revels voyeuristically in the grotesque details of its sleazy suburban setting. The end result is a film lacking in sympathy, which offers up a smart, scabrous portrait of four repellent individuals but never gives us a reason to care what happens to them.