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African Film Festival at the UN Plaza

Windhoek: 16 Jan 2008

  • Is prison about rehabilitation or mere survival?
  • Why does rape continue to flourish in the Congo?
  • Can a group of former sex-workers, infected with HIV find hope and solidarity amidst the squalor and degradation of the squatter camp where migrant workers mine the world’s largest source of platinum?
  • What does the future hold for women refugees as xenophobia takes hold in South Africa?

Over four days and five films The Africa Film Festival promises to bring these poignant questions to the foreground with award winning films from Africa and abroad. From Monday, January 26th to Thursday January 29th, at the UN Plaza in Katutura, the Legal Assistance Centre and Sister Namibia (with the support of the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre) will present a series of documentary films that tackle the cross cutting issues that are impacting Africa and the world. Through the personal stories of ordinary men and women, we witness the crushing impact of violence and the transformative powers of hope.

The evenings begin at 19h00 and all films will be followed by an open mic discussion facilitated by local activists. Admission is free of charge and all are welcome.

Monday, January 26th
The Choir
An inspirational story that follows the life of a young felon, Jabulani Shabangu as he serves his time in South Africa’s largest penitentiary, Leeuwkop prison, where gang violence, rape and drug abuse are rife and prisoners are 40 to a cell. As the story unfolds over six years Jabulani joins the prison choir, a disciplined group on a journey towards self redemption.
Australia/South Africa, 2007, 89 min, Subtitles
Director: Michael Davie

Tuesday, January 27th
Fighting the Silence
During the Democratic of Congo’s seven year war, more than 80,000 women and girls were raped. As the conflict continues today, the brutality against women and girls continues. Fighting the Silence tells the story of ordinary women and men’s struggle against a society that blames victims. Survivors share their stories, husbands talk of the pressures that led them to abandon their wives, and police and soldiers share their shocking views about why rape continues to flourish.
The Netherlands, 2007, 52 mins, subtitles
Directors: Femke and Ilse van Velzen

Wednesday, January 28th
Martine and Thandeka
Two women share their stories of brutal xenophobic attacks. Martine, originally from the Congo, fled with her two children to a police station when the violence broke out. Here, her teenage daughter became the victim of sexual assault. Thandeka, originally Zimbabwean, is married to a South African man with whom she has tow children. Forced to flee her home, Thandeka is left with an uncertain future as her husband no longer acknowledges their union.
South Africa, 2008, 24 mins, subtitles
Director: Xoliswa Sithole

The Burning Man
On 18 May 2008, Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamavue, a Mozambican national, was attacked and burnt to death by a xenophobic mob in Johannesburg. The pictures of his gruesome death made headlines across South Africa and throughout the world. The media dubbed him “the Burning Man”. The film explores who Ernesto really was, from his last minutes in Johannesburg, to his family compound in Mozambique.
South Africa, 2008, 24 mins, subtitles
Director: Adze Ugah

Thursday, January 29th
Freedom Park squatter camp accommodates a migrant workforce that mines the world’s largest single source of platinum. The women in this community service the needs of the male miners as a means of basic survival. A group of HIV-infected former sex-workers have created a network called Tapologo, and have learnt to be home-based care workers and to find hope amidst so much suffering.
Spain/South Africa, 2008, 88 mins, subtitles
Directors: Gabriela & Sally Gutierrez Dewar