#FeesMustFall, Madonsela take centre stage at film festival
Powerful films telling powerful stories, such as about the #FeesMustFall movement and South Africa’s first female public protector, Thuli Madonsela, are among 20 thought-provoking documentaries that have been announced for the 4th Cape Town International Film Market and Festival.
This year will see 20 documentary films screening from October 10-19 at various cinemas at the V&A Waterfront. Among the incredible list of moving documentaries is award-winning South African director Rehad Desai’s Everything Must Fall.
The film is an unflinching look at the #FeesMustFall student movement, which burst onto the South African political landscape in 2015 as a protest over the cost of education, and morphed into the most militant national revolt since the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.
The story is told by four student leaders at Wits University and their vice-chancellor, Adam Habib, a left-wing, former anti-apartheid student activist. Director Rehad Desai said: “This film has been in the making since late 2015 and is one of the most rewarding and inspiring projects I have had the pleasure to work on.
“It is a story of hope, disappointment, anger and a new generation that has entered our political arena. It is a story of Fees Must Fall told through the prism of Wits University, my old university, one of the countries elite universities which adds some unique layers of complexity.”
Having its world premiere at the CTIFMF will be another South African documentary, Hear My Music – the Dizu Plaatjies Story from director Ron Stuart. The documentary tells the story of local musical hero Dizu Plaatjies, the scholar and cultural activist who has devoted his adult life to indigenous African music. His journey from childhood in the Eastern Cape and Langa township to concert stages worldwide is a compelling story.
Whispering Truth to Power, from filmmaker and human rights lawyer Shameela Seedat, tracks Madonsela as she builds her second case against the country’s then president, Jacob Zuma. This is documentary filmmaking at its most relevant and powerful.
The final cut of Cape Town director Weaam William’s District Six: Rising from the Dust, which just recently won an Award of Excellence from the Scandinavian Film Festival, will also be screened at the Festival.
The film takes the viewer through her personal account of how, in 1966, the homes and land of her grandparents were declared an all-white area under the oppressive Group Areas Act.
Documentaries from as far afield as Germany, France, Lebanon, Cameroon, Syria, Japan, the US and Australia will also be featured.