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Disruption, Dissension, Decency, Disobedience & Defiance


This year’s Film Festival highlights film’s role as a disruptor of mainstream narrative.

Social critique has always been currency for film and documentary makers, and the Film Festival line-up includes movies about conflict and war (John Pilger’s The Coming War On China, Wolfgang Staudte’s The Murderers Among Us); resistance (Michael Verhoeven’s The White Rose); and politics, freedom and dissension (Akong – A Remarkable Life; The Hidden Sky by Argentinian director Pablo Cesar). Tribute will be paid to Freddy Ogetrop, a film librarian at the Cape Provincial Film Library, with a screening of some of the treasures he collected over 40 years at the library, including the very rare film by Marcel Ophuls, A Sense of LossMarcel Ophuls’ work ranges over French collaboration with the Nazis in Sorrow and the Pity to the search for the Gestapo’s Butcher of Lyon in Klaus Barbie. In A Sense of Loss, he turns his attention to the struggles in Northern Ireland against British occupation. The world’s attention had recently exploded into attention after the massacre of Bloody Sunday. With Bernadette Devlin charismatically representing the new face of Republicanism and Ian Paisley emerging as a spokesman for grassroots Unionism, Ophuls also focuses on the emotions that give his powerful film its title, voiced by a couple grieving over the death of their baby.

The film looks at the political, social and cultural conditions that shaped the 1976 Soweto Students Uprising, and how those ideas were transformed into liberatory actions

Powerful new South African cinema includes Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu, Meg Rickard’s Tess, Daryne Joshua’s Noem My Skollie, and Sifiso Khanyile’s Uprize! In Kalushi, director Mandla Dube seeks to tell the story of Solomon Mahlangu, a 19-year-old street hawker who is beaten by the police during uprisings. After living in exile, he joins the liberation movement and becomes an international icon of South Africa’s liberation. Sihle Mthembu described the film as ‘a meeting of history and cinema’. Meg Rickard’s Tess is described as the award-winning filmmaker, director and screenwriter’s finest work and was awarded Best SA Film and Best Actress for the lead role played by Christia Visser at the Durban International Film Festival in 2016. Tess is based on a novel by Tracey Farren called Whiplash. It is a harrowing story of a 20-year-old prostitute who numbs her life with prescription drugs and has her life turned upside down by rape and an unwanted pregnancy. Khanyile’s Uprize! explores the world that shaped the students of 1976 and how the students transformed that world. The film looks at the political, social and cultural conditions that shaped the 1976 Soweto Students Uprising, and how those ideas were transformed into liberatory actions.

…a meeting of history and cinema…

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For a short guide navigating through the programme, check out: National Arts Festival programme open for booking or visit one of our pages:

[button color=”” size=”” type=”round” target=”” link=””]FILM  Disruption, Dissension, Decency, Disobedience & Defiance[/button]

[button color=”” size=”” type=”round” target=”” link=””]THEATRE  Expect the unexpected[/button]

[button color=”” size=”” type=”round” target=”” link=””]TARTUFFE  the story of…[/button]

[button color=”” size=”” type=”round” target=”” link=””]MUSIC  Traditional, innovative & experimental[/button]

[button color=”” size=”” type=”round” target=”” link=””]DANCE  ‘Curious, furious and poetic’[/button]

[button color=”” size=”” type=”round” target=”” link=””]VISUAL/PERFORMANCE ART  Combining the historic and the contemporary[/button]

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