South African Films at the 2015 African Film Festival

Cold Harbour (NY Premiere)

  • Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 7:00 pm, (Q&A with Carey McKenzie and Tendeka Matatu), Walter Reade Theater, Film Society of Lincoln Center
  • Monday, 11 May 2015, 2:00 pm,Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center

Carey McKenzie, South Africa, 2014, 73min.
In Afrikaans, English, and Xhosa with English subtitles
While investigating a smugglers' turf war in Cape Town, township cop Sizwe discovers police corruption. His boss and mentor, Venske, gives Sizwe the case but assigns a rookie cop, Legama, to keep an eye on him. Sizwe discovers that the homicide is linked to Triad (Chinese mafia) abalone smuggling in Cape Town. A tip from a former comrade leads to a major abalone bust, but within hours the seized abalone is stolen. Sizwe is promoted to detective on the back of the bust, but it's a bitter triumph; he's being played and he knows it. In a world where self-interest and corruption have overtaken loyalty and honor, Sizwe is left with no one to trust. Integrity demands that he take the law into his own hands.

Plot for Peace

Thursday, 7 May 2015, 6:30 pm, Walter Reade Theater

Carlos Agulló and Mandy Jacobson, South Africa, 2014, 84min.
In English, French, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Spanish with English subtitles
A fascinating account of off-the-books diplomacy in the 1980s, “Plot forPeace” is that rare documentary that both augments the historical record and is paced like a thriller. “Plot” tells the little-known tale of Jean-Yves Ollivier, a French commodities trader who made his fortune doing business, he says, in “difficult countries” — including the internationally shunned South Africa. In 1981 he concluded that apartheid was unsustainable and began to use his contacts to help make sure its end came peacefully.
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Shield and Spear

Friday, 22 May 2015, 7:00 pm (Q&A with Petter Ringbom), BAM Rose Cinemas

Petter Ringbom, South Africa, 89min.
In English, Afrikaans, and Zulu with English subtitles
This documentary spotlights the changing political climate of South Africa, where a revolution is taking place as artists, musicians and designers tackle issues of politics, race and history. This newest film by director Petter Ringbom follows some of the most recognized artists in South Africa today, exploring what it means to live and work in the new democracy. Artist Brett Murray’s painted caricature of South African president Jacob Zuma results in a lawsuit and death threats. Photographer and activist Zanele Muholi’s work exposes hate crimes in the LGBT community. The Smarteez design collective creates international styles while running a free after-school program for kids. Musician Xander Ferreira of Gazelle parades on stage as a character based on an archetypal African dictator. Shield and Spear presents intimate stories about the artists, art, music, identity, race and freedom of expression in South Africa 20 years into democracy.
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Sobukwe: A Great Soul (U.S. Premiere)

  • Wednesday, 6 May 2015 9:00 pm, Walter Reade Theater
  • Friday, 8 May 2015 4:00 pm, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center

Mickey Madoda Dube, South Africa, 2011, 100min.
In English and various South African Languages with English subtitles
This film celebrates the life of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, restoring him to his rightful place as a leading figure in South African history. The film is a feature length drama-documentary, which explores Sobukwe’s life and provides a platform for his voice to be heard decades after he made his mark, putting his name back on the world map of great liberators. In spite of his pivotal role in the struggle for liberation (and as the founder of the Pan Africanist Congress), there is not a single piece of archive, not a single surviving audio recording of a man who was once one of the most watched, most recorded, most popular political prisoners in the world in his time. Even the current South African government has failed to recognize his place in history, and the relevance of his message today. This film seeks to fill that gap. It stands as a monument to a great man, a global visionary, teacher, political leader, philosopher and humanist who was well ahead of his time, declaring his commitment to a “non-racial” society in a racist world, asserting that “there is only one race, the human race.”
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You Laugh But It's True

Friday, 15 May 2015, 7:30 pm, Maysles Cinema

David Paul Meyer, South Africa/USA, 2011, 84min.
In English
The Daily Show’s new host, Trevor Noah, was born to an interracial couple in South Africa, at a time when such a union was illegal. You Laugh But It’s True reveals the story of an outsider who has somehow figured out a way to relate to everyone through his comedy.
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SHORTS PROGRAM #2: Women in the Media

Tuesday, 12 May 2015 6:00 pm, Francesca Beale Theater

Elizabeth Douherty, South Africa, 2014, 25min.
In English
When the safe life that Jenny has created for herself is intruded upon by a handsome and kind security guard, she begins to imagine the romance that she writes about in her books, might be possible for her, but ultimately her fear of reality leads to her misinterpreting it, with tragic consequences.
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SHORTS PROGRAM #1:  Afripedia (U.S. Premiere)

Saturday, 9 May 2015, 6:30 pm, Francesca Beale Theater

Afripedia is a five-part short documentary series produced by the Swedish collective Stocktown. Shot in Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Senegal, and South Africa, each of the five episodes focus on a different group of artists and creators in their respective country.


Teddy Goitom & Benjamin Taft, South Africa/Sweden, 2014, 28min.
In English
Twenty years after liberation, Afripedia, South Africa portrays a diverse new generation. Starting out in in Cape Town, we meet up with the video game label 2bop and the inventor of the new limpop music genre, Gazelle. Continuing on to Johannesburg, we join heavy metal band Ree-burth for a block party and take a tour around Soweto with the local style setters Smarteez and their colorful street-savvy fashion.
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