Film Countries Archives: South Africa

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Knuckle City

  Jahmil X.T. Qubeka

  South Africa      2019    


Dudu, a womanizing, aging professional boxer is threatened by a young up-and-coming talent. When his career-criminal brother, Duke, is released from prison, the two leverage criminal connections in hopes of one last shot at a comeback, fame, and glory. Rendered with bracing visuals and a human touch, Knuckle City examines the legacy of apartheid and its impact on South Africa’s Indigenous communities.

 Xhosa with subtitles 
  124 minutes



Film Partner

South Africa Consulate General

Shorts 7: Evidence of Things Unseen (Black Perspectives)


  Rwanda, South Africa, Switzerland, United States 81 minutes


This program showcases the talents of Black filmmakers from across the diaspora, painting a sweeping image of Black life in the United States and abroad. A collection of varied genres and styles, these films are reflective, observant, and sometimes hilarious. Featuring works by Terrance Daye, Nico Opper and Shannon St. Aubin, Kantarama Gahigiri, Amina Sutton, Maya Tanaka, Tebogo Malebogo, and Pat Heywood and Jamil McGinnis.

A young boy wrestles with his sense of self on the day of his cousin’s funeral in the tenderly-directed -Ship: A Visual Poem (U.S.). A warm-hearted portrait of teenage summer days, When I Write It (U.S.) follows two young Oakland artists as they come to grips with the change all around them. Ethereality (Switzerland/Rwanda) blends fiction and documentary to create a moving reflection about migration, home, and belonging. An aspiring artist discusses the challenges of finding affordable housing in a new city and the compromises she has to make with her spooky new roommates in The Price of Cheap Rent (U.S.). Heaven Reaches Down to Earth (South Africa) follows Tau and Tumelo during a journey across the South African landscape. When Tau comes to a realization about their sexuality, it sets in motion a cascade of thoughts and emotions. In Gramercy (U.S.) a young New Jersey native returns to his hometown, where his ongoing battle with depression becomes a poetic exploration of brotherhood and personal struggle.

 English, Zulu with subtitles 

“Heaven Reaches Down to Earth” [Short Film] Legodimo Le Kopana Le Lefatshe

  Tebogo Malebogo

  South Africa 10 minutes

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Tau and Tumelo journey across the South African landscape. When Tau comes to a realization about their sexuality, it sets in motion a cascade of thoughts and emotions.

 English, Zulu with subtitles 

The Wooden Camera

In Kayelitsha, a township close to Capetown, after the end of Apartheid, two thirteen-year-old kids- Madiba and Sipho – play along the railway line. A train passes by. A dead man is tossed from the train and rolls to their feet. His lifeless hand clutches an attaché case. Inside, the boys find a gun and a video camera. Sipho takes the gun and Madiba the camera. Madiba starts filming the township and its inhabitants. Through the lens, his bleak surroundings take on a strange new beauty. His status enhanced by gun ownership, Sipho becomes a gang leader and operates out of Capetown. In Capetown Madiba meets Estelle, who lives in a traditional Capetownian white community in which century-old prejudices have not died with the end of apartheid. Madiba introduces Estelle to Sipho, who inadvertently encourages her rebellion against her racist, strict father. Estelle introduces Madiba to Mr. Shawn, her music teacher who has taught music in the townships. Mr. Shawn encourages Madiba’s filmmaking. Madiba and Estelle each deal with problems at home of a very different sort. For Madiba, it’s the extreme poverty and an alcoholic father. For Estelle, it’s the rising confrontations with her narrow-minded father. Meanwhile, Sipho’s friendship with Madiba becomes strained as Sipho falls into drug use (sniffing glue) and deeper into crime.

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Otelo Burning

Otelo discovers an amazing talent as a surfer and is thrust into a glamorous world of money and women until his brother Ntwe is murdered. He faces a terrible choice — to stay a star or get revenge.

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