currently researching african animation : interested in compiling a database of practitioners in various sub-saharan countries : welcome any postings from practitioners

Sunday, December 02, 2007

africa and filmmaking...bits and bobs and other related thoughts...

South African film that has won a host of awards at various international film festivals including the Edinburgh Film Festival, Los Angeles AFI Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival.

The synopsis taken from the official website (see link above) states the following

Tsotsi n. thug, gangster, hoodlum

Set amidst the sprawling Johannesburg township of Soweto - where survival is the primary objective - TSOTSI traces six days in the life of a ruthless young gang leader who ends up caring for a baby accidentally kidnapped during a car-jacking.

TSOTSI is a gritty and moving portrait of an angry young man living in a state of extreme urban deprivation. His world pumps with the raw energy of "Kwaito music" - the modern beat of the ghetto that reflects his troubled state of mind.

The film is a psychological thriller in which the protagonist is compelled to confront his own brutal nature and face the consequences of his actions. It puts a human face on both the victims and the perpetrators of violent crime and is ultimately a story of hope and a triumph of love over rage.

"Tsotsi" literally means "thug" or "gangster" in the street language of South Africa's townships and ghettos. "Kwaito" is South Africa's answer to American Hip Hop.

For more video clips go to the official website - it gives both comprehensive documentation/ press releases/ reviews etc but also other video clips on the "making of" the film, and related areas such as Kwaito Music.

This is what the Barbican had to say about ...
This impressive adaptation sets George Bizet's masterpiece in the underworld of a South African township, and won the Golden Bear at last year's Berlin Film Festival.

Theatre director Mark Dornford-May has effortlessly translated the famous love story of Don José and the sensuous cigarette seller Carmen from Spain to Cape Town, and the libretto from French into the local Xhosa.

Acclaimed, local-born opera singer Pauline Malefane is a revelation in the title role, supported by a magnificent cast from the acclaimed Dimpho Di Kopane theatre company.

South Africa 2005 Dir. Mark Dornford-May 127 min.

to listen to an interview with the south african star and co-writer Pauline Malefane... go to the BBC collective - click here
Also a good link to an interview with the Director on the film see the BBC film network - or click here

DV8 Project talking about the film industry in south africa...


To find out more information about the FESPACO Film Festival, Journeyman Pictures have a short clip on the film festival to be found on Utube - which can also be ordered as a DVD format. Unfortunately the clip is not embeddable but you can watch it on youtube / click here this clip on African Cinema and Revolution, Zola Maseko (Drum, 2004) discusses revolution in African cinema at the Here & Now African & African American Art & Film Conference. Seated (L to R) are Jacquie Jones, Moussa Sene Absa, Maseko, and NYU's Institute of African Studies Chair Manthia Diawara.

Manthia Diawara's book, African Cinema: Politics and Culture - is a recommended read for anyone who is interested in contemporary issues surrounding the African cinema.

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