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My heart belongs to the sea

HOLIDAY TIME BECKONS and a young white South African family comprising two little girls, a teenaged son and their parents are readying themselves for their annual seaside vacation. Bessie (Simonè Benjamin) is but 19. She’s brown. And she’s employed as the family’s nanny. And she’s never seen the […]

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Haunted by Matlakala

THE PLIGHT OF melanin-deficient people came under the medical marketing spotlight in South Africa through the month of September, which made the brief staging of Arthur Molepo’s contemplation on albinism Mama, I want the black that you are, particularly prescient. It’s a complicated work told with a hand […]

I am my mother’s child

VERY RARELY DO you get a coming together of narrative values that are not only sensitive to the text that they honour, but also have the maturity and sense of purpose to create a filmic product that stands on its own creative feet. This is what happens in […]

He ain’t scary, he’s my tokoloshe

SAY THE WORD ‘tokoloshe’ and you will have people quivering in their boots for generations. But relieve that scary sprite of his evil associations and you open a rich vein of narrative possibilities that teases open everything from fake news to bullying, fah-fee rhetoric to face time with […]

Kofifi drenched in violence

REPLETE WITH ITS jazz dives, camaraderie and poetry, its dinginess, brothels and gangs Sophiatown aka Kofifi was a suburb in Johannesburg that was an apartheid loophole until 1955. It was the one place in which black people could live in relative harmony with people of all colours, free […]

Still Nouveau, but sexy

RECENTLY, THE CINEMA Nouveau complex at Rosebank Shopping Mall underwent a facelift. But this was no complicated structural reconfiguration. It looks, on a superficial level, almost the same, except for some nips and tucks and a bar which serves small meals around the corner. This is the wisdom […]

How to tell a story

THE WHIPLASH BRILLIANCE of Quentin Tarantino’s film Once upon a time … in Hollywood will leave you second guessing everything until the closing credits and then some; by and large, all of your predictions will be wrong. Constructed like a Greek tragedy, this essay on the faux realities […]