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

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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In this moving testimony to the power of song, Amandala documents the vital role South African freedom songs played in the nearly half-century struggle against apartheid.

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