South Africa

Richard Stanley – Rites of Passage (1983)

Here is a nice little Super-8 student film directed by and starring Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil). “Rites of Passage” feels like the result of what might happen if Derek Jarman attempted to adapt Kubrick’s 2001 into a short.

As a primordial man (Richard Stanley) wanders in the plains and forests of the Dark Continent, seemingly at the dawn of the human race, a narrator reminisces on past lives, all of which he remembers. These outspoken thoughts seem to be with the primordial man as he travels towards an unknown destination; the two co-exist simultaneously despite the gap of thousands of years. Their lives are intervowen – as they’ve always been… Read More »

Cedric Sundstrom – The Shadowed Mind (1988)

Stephanie, arrives as a patient at a private clinic for sufferers of sexual dysfunction run by Dr Hildesheimer. Stephanie’s fellow patients all have their own issues including inhibition, neurosis, fixation, delusions etc. Stephanie begins a tentative affair with one of the other patients while a killer stalks the institution. Read More »

Henning Carlsen – Dilemma (1962)

Quote:
The Danish director Henning Carlsen has Max Roach to thank for the revival of Dilemma, his debut feature from 1962. Screening as part of Jazz Score, the Museum of Modern Art’s survey of movies with original jazz compositions, this black-and-white drama gets a blast of vitality from a soundtrack hopped up on Roach’s bebop and the infectious swing of Gideon Nxumalo, a South African composer adept in the style of indigenous jazz known as marabi. Read More »

Oliver Schmitz – Mapantsula (1988)

From the Chicago Reader (Jonathan Rosenbaum) :
Shot in Johannesburg and Soweto by Oliver Schmitz, a white South African, this radical 1988 feature offers a grittier view of the anti-apartheid movement than Cry Freedom or A World Apart, both from the same period. A petty thief (Thomas Mogotlane) winds up in jail, meets other blacks involved in protesting racism, and gradually becomes politically aware. Banned in South Africa upon release, the film conveys a volatile sense of both time and place–according to the South African censor, it had “the power to incite probable viewers to act violently.” Read More »

Jamie Uys – Dirkie AKA Lost in the Desert (1969)

Lost in the Desert, initially released as Dirkie, is a South African film from 1969/1970, written, produced and directed by Jamie Uys under the name of Jamie Hayes.

Uys himself plays Anton De Vries, a concert pianist whose 8-year-old son Dirkie is the central character. Dirkie is played by Uys’s real-life son Wynand Uys, credited as Dirkie Hayes. Read More »

John Trengove – Inxeba AKA The Wound (2017)

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Brimming with sex and violence, The Wound is an exploration of tradition and sexuality set amid South Africa s Xhosa culture. Every year, the tribe s young men are brought to the mountains of the Eastern Cape to participate in an ancient coming-of-age ritual. Xolani, a quiet and sensitive factory worker (played by openly gay musician Nakhane Touré), is assigned to guide Kwanda, a city boy from Johannesburg sent by his father to be toughened up, through this rite of passage into manhood. As Kwanda defiantly negotiates his queer identity within this masculine environment, he quickly recognizes the nature of Xolani s relationship with fellow guide Vija. The three men commence a dangerous dance with each other and their own desires and, soon, the threat of exposure elevates the tension to breaking point. Read More »

Rehad Desai – Miners Shot Down (2014)

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Renowned director Rehad Desai returned to the events of August 2012, when the Marikana mine in South Africa experienced the worst episode of bloodshed since the end of apartheid. For seven days, thousands of miners protested for a living wage. The non-violent demonstration was brought down through an intervention by state police forces, in which more than 30 miners were shot dead and many others injured. In this political thriller, the director reconstructs the sequence of events through testimonies and footage of the massacre, drawing a disturbing picture of the mechanism of power in South Africa, where corporations make profits by exploiting the poorest. One World present the film’s world premiere. – See more at: link Read More »