Tag: Encounters South African International Documentary Film Festival

Portrait of a queen, with bare feet

LISTEN TO THE first few lyrics of Sodade, a song written in the 1950s which was popularised and rose to meteoric cultural proportions in the early 1990s, and you will know exactly who Cesária Évora was – or at least, you will know her voice, which runs like […]

How to live one day at a time

SHE SQUINTS HER beautiful eyes and frowns gloriously. Her tan body is health and lithe, playful, watchful, vulnerable, tough. This is Zeytin, a mixed breed large dog in Istanbul, central to an extraordinary piece of filmography called Stray, made by Elizabeth Lo, which features on this year’s Encounters […]

Ella’s story: So near and yet so far

BEHIND THE FEISTY face and wry sense of humour of 98-year-old Capetonian Ella Blumenthal is a history that underpins the life of many European Jews who lived through the scourge of the Holocaust, bereft, broken and with scant wherewithal to pick up pieces and start life all over […]

Last scene of all

WHEN THE TRADITIONAL lines of documentary are allowed to blend into the messy whimsy of what fictional tales are about, real magic happens.  A kind of universal sacred magic that speaks to what all of us are, as human beings. This is what you can anticipate in Maite […]

Portrait of Ghana with dreams

FILM REVIEW: SAKAWA. THE ADVENT OF the internet and social media offered the sex work industry interesting avenues of digression. They’re avenues which take the notion of exploitation to a new, international height, as they present an understanding of sex work which doesn’t involve actual physical intimacy, but […]

Amy Biehl and our amputated pride

FILM REVIEW: MOTHER TO MOTHER. WHAT DO YOU say to the woman whose daughter your son has murdered? This is the nub of Sindisiwe Magona’s fictional tale, Mother to Mother, about the murder of Amy Biehl, a young American graduate who came to South Africa, an anti-apartheid activist. […]

The ecstacy of daily struggle

FILM REVIEW: CUNNINGHAM. HE REFUSED TO be known as ‘avant-garde’, but set fire to every dance cliché and rule that you can think of, in his outstanding and bold repertoire, answerable to no one. This was Merce Cunningham, celebrated in Alla Kovgan’s beautiful film, Cunningham, which features on […]