girl taken doccie documentary showmax

A scene featuring Zephany Nurse in the award-winning ‘Girl, Taken’. Image: Supplied/ Showmax

‘Girl, Taken’: Riveting doccie relives Zephany Nurse heartbreak

Truth is stranger than fiction: The award-winning documentary ‘Girl, Taken’ has garnered international acclaim for its ‘twists and turns’.

girl taken doccie documentary showmax

A scene featuring Zephany Nurse in the award-winning ‘Girl, Taken’. Image: Supplied/ Showmax

Girl, Taken tells the heartbreaking true story of a couple’s grief following the theft of their newborn baby girl. Their daughter was miraculously found 17 years later…just for them to lose her yet again.

Almost two decades since the story of Zephany Nurse made global headlines, the documentary, which won the accolade of Best South African Documentary Film at the 2022 Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), is streaming on Showmax. It has also premiered on on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Sunday 19 February.

‘Girl, Taken’: Award-winning director duo captures essence of loss

A scene from ‘Girl, Taken’. Image: Supplied

Girl, Taken was co-directed by the multi award-winning duo of Francois Verster and Simon Wood, whose previous collaboration, Scenes From a Dry City, was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy, earned a Special Mention at AFI Docs, and was named World Press Photo Online Video of the Year.  

The 92-minute documentary follows Celeste and Morne Nurse, whose baby daughter Zephany was stolen from Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital three days after her birth in April 1997. For 17 years, the devastated couple searched for Zephany, regularly making media appeals, hiring private detectives and following countless false leads. 

ALSO READ: Zephany Nurse tells her life story as Miché Solomon

Miraculous discovery of lost daughter makes global headlines

Cassidy and sister Zephany Nurse. Image: Supplied

Then in 2015, their second daughter, Cassidy, enrolled in a new school, where other pupils pointed out the uncanny physical resemblance between her and an older pupil, Miche Solomon. Eventually DNA samples confirmed that Miche was indeed Zephany, and, incredibly, she had grown up only a few kilometres from the Nurse’s home.

After making headlines around the world, the miraculous rediscovery of Zephany was on everyone’s lips, so much so that a film was made documenting the story of the child who grew up with the name Miché Solomons.

ALSO READ: Twist in Fritz sex case: Former intern Zephany Nurse ‘willing to testify’

‘Girl, Taken’…for a second time

However, the arrest and trial of the seamstress Lavona Solomon whom Miché knew as her loving mother, devastated her and ultimately, she chose to remain with her kidnapper family. Solomon was jailed for 10 years over the crime and is eligible for bail consideration in July 2023, as reported by The Sun.

The Nurses — against all expectations — lost their daughter a second time. This film follows the process of two broken families climbing the difficult path towards forgiveness and wholeness.

In the documentary Zephany speaks about her upbringing; the devastation caused by her abduction coming to light; the dramatic criminal trial of the mother who raised her; and why she chose to stay with the Solomon family, even after learning that she had been abducted and given a new identity.

ALSO READ: Zephany Nurse’s kidnapper believes she was wrongly convicted

Praise for documentary

“It could have been sensationalist, but it wasn’t,” said the DIFF jury, praising the “twists and turns” and “many complexities and different layers” of the “real human story about family.”

Similarly, alongside its international release on Paramount+, Heat (UK) gave Girl, Taken four stars, calling it “compelling and heartbreaking stuff.”

Watch the trailer here