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Heritage Focus


DIR: Clifford Bestall / SA / 2010 / 50min
Narrated by Morgan Freeman

1995, what a wondrous year! South Africa had held its first democratic elections and, no longer a political and sporting pariah, it was to host the Rugby World Cup. Hope and excitement were tangible. Hard as it is to imagine, however, the off-field events were even more momentous. The 16th Man reveals the extraordinary political acumen of Nelson Mandela, for it is he who saw and used the opportunity of an international sporting tournament to heal and reconcile a nation that had been, and perhaps still was, on the brink of civil war. It tantalisingly recreates the tension and drama on and off the pitch. It intertwines footage of the games, happenings in the country and key interviews with those at the heart of events, to tell the amazing true story of how the contest, and the thrilling Springbok victory, changed everyone involved and the country with it. The 16th Man is based on John Carlin’s Playing the Enemy, which is also the inspiration for the Clint Eastwood film.

Courtesy of the Director

CAPE TOWN V&A: SUN 15 / 8.30pm + Q&A FRI 27 / 7pm
  LABIA: SUN 22 / 6.30pm
JOBURG   FRI 27 / 9pm + Q&A


Afrikaner Afrikaan

DIR: Rina Jooste / SA / 2009 / 48min

Using music as a springboard for discussion, Jooste’s selection of muso protagonists, Deon Maas, Sean Else and Johrné van Huyssteen, captures the new buoyancy and divergence in Afrikaner identities freed from the straitjacket of Afrikaner nationalism. This white minority culture is in disarray as the foundations of its authority and identity disappear: political dominance; influence of the church; supremacy by virtue of skin colour. The enduring power of music and song to express and assert identity, and protest, is evidenced in the recent De La Rey phenomenon (it sold over 200,000 copies), and the popularity of Fokofpolisiekar, a punk Afrikaans band who refuse to be apologisers but are moulding a more liberal identity for Afrikaans youth. Even before this, in the 1980s, the foundations were laid by artists such as Koos Kombuis and Johannes Kerkorrel, who first questioned the Afrikaans norm. The film’s title is a phrase coined by Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert to redefine “Afrikaner”, a term associated with racial exclusion, as African Afrikaner.

Courtesy of the Director

CAPE TOWN LABIA: TUE 17 / 7.15pm + PANEL MON 23 / 6.30pm
JOBURG   THU 26 / 7pm + Q&A



DIR: Dylan Valley / SA / 2010 / 60min

On the surface, Afrikaaps appears to be a theatre piece within a film, based as it is on the creative processes and performances of the critically acclaimed stage production of the same name. But rather than depending on the drama on stage and the production’s prominent characters to carry the narrative, Valley finds revealing moments from the cast’s and production crew’s personal narratives that transcend what happens on stage. Afrikaaps, the film and the stage play, breaks ground by boldly attempting to reclaim Afrikaans – so long considered a language of the oppressor – as a language of liberation. It does this by foregrounding alternative histories of ‘the Creole birth’ of the language and shattering long-existing efforts to whitewash and purify Afrikaans. While the ideas of the film are informed by rigorous academic study, the presentation of those ideas are steeped in the now – conveyed by hip hop-generation Cape Town-based artists like Jitsvinger, Bliksemstraal, Blaq Pearl and Emile YX, who school audiences with an immediacy, irreverence and vibrancy often frowned upon in the academy.

Courtesy of the Director

CAPE TOWN V&A: FRI 13 / 6.30pm + Q&A TUE 24 / 8.45pm + Q&A
JOBURG   SAT 21 / 5pm


Casa del Musica

DIR: Johnathan de Vries / SA / 2003 / 52min


Cape Town and Havana may lie longitudes apart, but both are melting pot ports where sailors, soldiers, traders and slaves have created a fabulous mix of religions and cultures. Historian and musician Vincent Kolbe and jazz legend, the late Robbie Jansen, travel from the Cape to Cuba to explore the island’s rich musical heritage and share with it some of their own city’s eclectic cultural treasures. The film follows Jansen as he takes his sax on a tour of Havana’s parks, streets, jazz clubs and studios to meet and jam with the city’s finest soundsmiths. The result is a highly entertaining introduction to Cuban music - past, present and future - and a deeply personal account of Jansen rediscovering his own wellsprings of creative inspiration.

Courtesy of Idol Pictures


CAPE TOWN LABIA: SUN 15 / 4.30pm + Q&A


Comrade Goldberg

DIR: Peter Heller / Germany / 2010 / 55min
Narrated by Shado Twala

On the Rivonia Trial roll of honour, after Mandela, Sisulu, Mbeki, Motsoaledi and Kathrada, comes Goldberg. While the rest of those facing the death sentence in 1963 for taking up arms against the apartheid state have become household, if not street names, Denis Goldberg is only dimly remembered. This film is a personal and political history of the white man who became an MK commander, bomb-maker and saboteur and spent 22 years in Pretoria Central as a consequence. Told in his own words, in interviews with family and old comrades, and including rarely-seen amateur footage of the first halting steps of the armed struggle, Comrade Goldberg offers an unusual perspective on our recent past. Goldberg’s story, unique though it is, is a testament to the sacrifices made by a handful of white revolutionaries and their role in keeping the ideal of a non-racial society alive.

Courtesy of the Director

CAPE TOWN V&A: FRI 20 / 6.30pm + Q&A + Book signing with Denis Goldberg
  V&A: THU 26 / 6.45pm + Q&A + Book signing with Denis Goldberg
  LABIA: SUN 15 / 8.30pm + Q&A + Book signing with Denis Goldberg
JOBURG   FRI 20 / 7.15pm


A Country for my Daughter

DIR: Lucilla Blankenberg / SA / 2010 / 54min

In what seems to be a hard and unwinnable battle against sexual violence in South Africa there are a few victories which offer hope. Treatment Action Campaign Chairperson and mother, Nonkosi Khumalo, revisits the stories, places, and where possible, the women, to find out how personal experiences of horrific trauma have begun to change the way the law against rape is prosecuted in South Africa. What she discovers is that only public outrage and organised protest have the power to force the authorities to provide women with the protection and justice to which they are entitled. In a film described by its director as the most difficult her all-woman crew have ever worked on, the dynamism, anger and compassion of Khumalo will hopefully spur more South Africans to action rather than despair.

Courtesy of the Director



DIR: Omelga Mthiyane / SA / 2010 / 15min

When Margaret Mthiyane’s young husband died, to support her 10 children she collected and traded in second-hand clothes, and now supports her grandchildren. Margaret’s filmmaker daughter returns home to reconnect with her mother. She follows Margaret to the Durban Early Morning Market where hundreds of traders, many there for over 50 years, are resisting the City Council’s attempts to remove them, destroy the market, and build a shopping mall. This moving film is a tribute to one mother, and a reminder of the enormous contribution that South African mothers and grandmothers make to hold our vulnerable communities together.

Courtesy of the Director

CAPE TOWN V&A: SAT 21 / 5.45pm
  LABIA: SUN 15 / 6pm + Q&A
JOBURG   SAT 28 / 6.30pm


The Cradock Four

DIR: David Forbes / SA / 2009 / 90min

This film commemorates the 25th anniversary of the brutal murder of anti-Apartheid activists Matthew Goniwe, Fort Calata, Sparrow Mkonto and Sicelo Mhlauli. Uncovering the truth of their murder has been a long and painful process. Similarly, the process of creating the film has been protracted, with Forbes struggling with authorities to access key documents. Here, now, is the full story of the Four, the lives they uplifted and impacted, and the political contexts that shaped them and that they helped to shape. Through the use of artefacts, television archives, personal testimonies and re-enactments, Forbes constructs vivid portraits of the men – most notably of Matthew Goniwe, who is remembered as an exceptional teacher, intellectual, pioneering civic organiser and dedicated father. Impressively, the film is successful on a number of levels: offering personal perspectives into the lives of the Cradock Four, championing Goniwe as a significant catalyst of civic action, and locating their deaths as a crucial moment in the dismantling of Apartheid.

Courtesy of the Director

CAPE TOWN V&A: TUE 17 / 6.30pm MON 23 / 8.30pm
JOBURG   SUN 22 / 4pm + Q&A


Here be Dragons

DIR: Odette Geldenhuys / SA / 2010 / 86min

George Bizos is a national treasure, one of the few South African icons that has stayed true to his beliefs of justice for all and this film provides an inside look at his illustrious career and the beliefs that led him there. Director Geldenhuys has had unprecedented access to the man and his daily life – a relaxed Bizos, undaunted by the camera, cooks, swims and celebrates birthdays with Nelson Mandela. He talks freely about his humble beginnings, his work on the Rivonia trial, and his commitment to building the justice system in South Africa. The film is an important document of a very full life; it takes us on the emotional, personal and political journey of one of South Africa’s greatest jurists.

Courtesy of the Director

CAPE TOWN V&A: FRI 13 / 8.30pm + Q&A THU 19 / 6.30pm THU 26 / 8pm
JOBURG   MON 23 / 8.30pm + Q&A
    SUN 29 / 4pm .


Promised Land

DIR: Yoruba Richen / USA / 2010 / 53min

Historically, socially and personally, land is a controversial issue in Africa. Post-colonial nations have struggled with righting the ills of the past without upsetting agricultural security. Focussing on South Africa’s land reform, this fascinating and balanced documentary sheds new light on this ongoing and always complex issue. Simplifying the debate to personal impact, the camera focuses on the people on both sides of two radically disputed claims: the 9,000-member Mekgareng community in North West Province, and the descendants of Abram Molamu. The former are an impoverished community that is collectively seeking the return of 42,000 acres of rich farmland now in the hands of white farmers and developers; the latter is a middle-class, professional black family whose ancestor was ‘paid’ for the 3,800 acres now owned by four white farmers. Interviewing both claimants and stalwart ‘owners’, and exploring both the process and reasons for delays, Richen navigates the economic expectations and communal frustrations to deliver a complex, honest and subtle picture.

Courtesy of the Director. The Director is a guest of the Festival.

CAPE TOWN V&A: SUN 15 / 6.30pm + Q&A
  LABIA: WED 18 / 7.15pm + PANEL
JOBURG   MON 23 / 7pm


RFK in The Land of Apartheid –
A Ripple of Hope

DIRS: Larry Shore & Tami Gold / USA / 2009 / 56min

This is a film that was begging to be made, and now, 44 years later, Shore and Gold have delivered a remarkable gem, packed with rare archival footage. In June 1966, at the height of the Cold War, King’s Civil Rights Movement and Verwoerd’s apartheid regime, Robert Kennedy came to South Africa to deliver the NUSAS Annual Day of Affirmation Speech at UCT. In six days RFK covered enormous ground, delivering 4 other recorded public speeches (UND, Stellenbosch, the Johannesburg Bar and WITS), visited Soweto – shaking the hands of ordinary people – and the banned Nobel Laureate Chief Albert Luthuli. The impact of his sensible wisdom (‘Suppose God is Black?’) challenged biblically-rationalised racism, but it is his “Ripple of Hope” speech, acknowledged as the greatest of his career, that was sadly, almost 2 years to the day later, to be his epitaph.

Courtesy of the Director

  V&A: SAT 14 / 6.45pm
  LABIA: SUN 29 / 6.30pm MON 23 / 8.15pm + Q&A
JOBURG   THU 19 / 7.15pm


Sathima’s Windsong

DIR: Daniel A Yon / Canada / South Africa / 2009 / 80min

Windsong is a lyrical portrait of the life of South African jazz singer Sathima Bea Benjamin. Shot in New York and Cape Town, it is a celebration of Benjamin’s work, a meditation on jazz and diaspora. In her Chelsea Hotel apartment, her home for over thirty years, she patches together her journeys: from apartheid South Africa and its ‘pattern of brokenness’; to Europe and a chance meeting and recording with Duke Ellington; and later a fresh start in New York. Her narrative is interwoven with her music and the reflections of others. Much like her haunting song, Windsong, the film is an eloquent meditation on displacement, exile and belonging.

Courtesy of the Director


CAPE TOWN V&A: SUN 15 / 4.30pm + Q&A



DIR: Jo Menell / SA / 2010 / 50min

Effervescent, beautiful, confident, brave, eloquent and ambitious, Thembi epitomises the youth of South Africa. Tragically, in more ways than one, Thembi came to fame through her audio diary for the US’ National Public Radio. It documented her daily life in Khayelitsha and the physical, social and emotional struggle of living with HIV. Her humour, forthright nature and inner strength enchanted her 50 million strong audience, forcing people far and wide, humble and famous to listen to her sound logic as the voice of a generation that South Africa’s politicians had forsaken. Despite her boundless energy and herculean courage, this gentle and incisive documentary shows that Thembi is all too human. Her desire to live, love and leave behind a legacy didn’t make her any less susceptible to insecurity, social pressure, exhaustion and the vagaries of being a celebrity.

Courtesy of the Director



DIRS: Emil Langballe & Maria Samoto le Dous / Denmark / Zambia / 2010 / 25min

“Death has done us so much,” observes William Kameta Zulu as he single-handedly raises 21 (of the 1 million Zambian) Aids orphans. A gardener, he aims to sell enough produce to afford a water pump, and thereby increase his production and earnings - all so he can provide for the health, happiness and education of his children. This sensitive film, made with love and care, is at times devastatingly sad. Yet it is ultimately a hopeful account of William’s life and many challenges. The filmmakers have prepared a simple tribute, unfettered by sentimentality, to the spirit and strength of human endeavour.

Courtesy of the Director

CAPE TOWN V&A: SAT 14 / 8.30pm + Q&A TUE 24 / 6.45pm