SAFF 2021 Review – Influence

There is power in public relations and the highest bidder gets to manipulate the narrative. Influence is a documentary about just that. We get a story of how a public relations company went from getting the first female PM elected (Margaret Thatcher) by using advertising to exploit the hearts and minds of the people to …

SAFF 2021 Review – Riding with Sugar

“Only cowards have no scars.” Joshua (Charles Mnene) is a young refugee living in Cape Town, South Africa, in a halfway house type situation where he has to be on guard 24/7. He dreams of being a champion BMXer and to make something of himself. However, after getting hit by a car and janking up …

SAFF 2021 Review – A New Country

Apartheid ended in 1994 and nearly 30 years later, things are still in a state of chaos. Scholars, artists, activists and politicians sit for director Sifiso Khanyile in this documentary about how the county of South Africa is still trying to recover from it. The promise of change and inclusion has yet to be fulfilled …

SAFF 2021 Review – Toorbos

“In the end, the forest doesn’t push you out, it kicks you out.” It’s the 1930’s in the Knysna Forest of South Africa and there are groups of people who live out here, away from the modern big city. They are happy to be living on the land and as a community of their own. …

SAFF 2021 Review – Jozi Gold

Gold is dirty. Mining is the back bone of most communities. However once a mine has depleted its resources, the community is left with the fall out. In Johannesburg, South Africa, where a majority of the world’s gold is mined, many mines have been left abandoned and over time the surrounding areas have turned into …

Review – Moffie

Kai Luke Brummer as “Nicholas” in Oliver Hermanus’ MOFFIE. Courtesy of IFC Films. An IFC Films release. Not since Top Gun has there been a movie dripping with toxic masculinity and homoeroticism. In 1981 Apartheid is still thriving in South Africa and 16 year old Nicholas (Kai Luke Brümmer) has been drafted into the army …

Short Film Review – ‘Five Tiger’

A god-fearing woman finds herself in a transactional relationship as she tries to support her sick husband and daughter. ‘Five Tiger’ (refers to fifty rand – equal to 0.20 USD) takes place in present day South Africa, but transcends any sense of time or location. A woman bites through blood, sweet and tears, while working …

Fantasia International Film Festival Review – ‘Fried Barry’

‘Fried Barry’ is a South African film, based on the 2017 short film of the same name. When lousy dad/husband and heroine junkie Barry gets abducted by aliens, he finds his body taken over by an extraterrestrial entity, who’s ready to explore Cape Town in the wildest way possible. Sex, drugs and violence take center …

SAIFF Short Film Review – ‘Blue Dress’

Brett Michael Innes’ short film ‘Blue Dress’ sees a young father seeking forgiveness for the rape that he committed years ago in university. By reaching out to the woman he assaulted, he hopes to let go of the guilt he’s been carrying all these years. She agrees to meet with him after hours at her …

SSAFF Review – ‘Back of the Moon’

The closing film of Sydney’s South African Film Festival 2020 is Academy Award-nominated director Angus Gibson’s (Mandela) ‘Back of the Moon’, a tragic love story set in a rundown part of Johannesburg. It’s 1958 and Badman (Richard Lukunku – Black Sails), an intellectual and the leader of the most powerful gang in Sophiatown, lives life …