Saturday, April 21, 7 p.m.
Where Do I Stand
When xenophobic attacks broke out across South Africa in May 2008, many found themselves caught off guard, shocked by violence that felt like a violation of the principles of their newly democratic nation. Where Do I Stand? captures the optimistic voices of youth trying to make sense of what they experienced and the choices they made during the violence, as they carve out their own places in this complex and divided nation.
Winner: Best Documentary – Reel International Film Festival
Documentary Short, 2010
Run Time: 20 minutes
Director: Molly Blank
Man On Ground
A bold and exacting portrayal of rising xenophobia in South Africa, Omotoso casts the story of a young Nigerian man living in the African refugee tenements of Johannesburg. The tale is essentially a missing person’s story about estranged Nigerian brothers: Ade (Hakeem Kae-Kazim), a London-based banker, and Femi (Fabian Adeoye Lojede), a political radical who’s been imprisoned, tortured, run out of his home country, Nigeria, and is last seen living the street life in Johannesburg.
When Femi goes missing, Ade In the span of a single night, on a short visit from London, tries to elucidate the mystery. In May of 2008, in the informal settlement of the East Rand near Johannesburg, Mozambican immigrant Ernesto Nhamuave was burned alive while bystanders laughed. The violence eventually quieted down, but its root causes have yet to be addressed seriously; tension is still tangible. The event inspired director Akin Omotoso to write Man On Ground, and the resulting film is not merely the work of a talented and socially engaged filmmaker bearing witness — it is, in Omotoso’s own words, “a strong appeal for healing.”
A cross-hybridization of BBC police thriller and Bergmanesque meditation on intra-African immigration, Man on Ground boasts some literally fantastic visual flourishes. Thisiwe Ziqubu, who plays Femi’s fiancee, Zodwa, is a talent to watch.
Awards: Selected for the Toronto International Film Festival 2011 — Contemporary World Cinema. Official Selection to the Berlin International Film Festival 2012. Winner, Best Feature at The Jozi Film Festival 2012
Feature Thriller, 2011
Run Time: 90 minutes
Director: Akin Omotoso
Language: English and Zulu, Sotho, Yoruba with English subtitles.
Rating: 14A (violence)