United We Stand. Part 1: South African Cinema during Apartheid
"Presented for the first time in the United States, this thoughtfully curated program by South Africa-based Trevor Taylor, US-based Seagull Films and UK-based Contemporary Films, offers an important, authentic and in-depth look at South Africa under Apartheid. Deeply moving, and not to be missed."
- Danny Glover, actor, activist and Co-Founder Louverture Films.
"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination, I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony, and with equal opportunities"
- Nelson Mandela.
A unique selection of South African cinema in which the country's complex history emerges from 8 programs featuring 11 landmark films from the apartheid years. All of the films in the program were made in opposition to the apartheid ideology (with the exception of To Act a Lie, which is a Government propaganda piece made specifically and clumsily to counteract the negative publicity South Africa was receiving internationally). Informed by access to cinema, the films are all made by white directors, a situation which would radically change after apartheid's fall.
Notably only three black filmmakers operated during apartheid - Lionel Ngakane - who was exiled in London, Simon Sabela - who made domestic, non-political dramas in the vernacular and Gibson Kente -, whose brave although technically inept film How Long? was seized by the authorities.
The films selected provide a unique insight into resistance cinema made in South Africa by white filmmakers who were resident there, with the exception of End of the Dialogue, the makers of which definitely did not live there (they would have invited a prison sentence for their efforts). Apart from End of the Dialogue, None of the films were made clandestinely - although they all met with censorial disapproval resulting in bannings and delays in public screenings which, were often limited to independent venues without access to major distribution.