3152
5 mins read

Can documentary film as a genre do justice to the astounding life of Fela Kuti?

Documentary films truncate an entire life into fleeting bursts of exuberance and somber moments. Any moments that exist in between, however significant they are, are left out completely or brushed over. In making a documentary, on any subject, the director carves a narrative. And at times, the narrative carves itself. The decision then to make a documentary on the astounding life of Fela Kuti is a brave one. What do you exclude? What do you include? And most importantly, what informs these decisions?

695
3 mins read

“Just like in a science fiction movie”

The Mtsweni family lives in a squatter camp in Mamelodi township outside Pretoria, South Africa’s capital. Seventeen year old Lerato, who goes by Moskito, tells young German director Benjamin Kahlmeyer: “It’s not a…..

5 mins read

Fighting somebody else's war

By Basia Lewandowska Cummings We British are very good at honoring the dead. Last Friday Prime Minister David Cameron, his deputy Nick Clegg et al attended the annual Remembrance Day…..

Less than a minute read

Youssef Chahine's Cairo

The late, great Egyptian director Youssef Chahine shot this drama/documentary/biography on Cairo for television in 1991. As brilliant and beautiful a depiction of the city as any, Chahine infused the story with…..

8 mins read

The Uprising

“The Uprising of Hangberg” is filmmaking at its incendiary best. Part agitprop piece, testimonies, campaign document, and popular history, the film recounts the violent events of September 2010 when municipal…..

Less than a minute read

Dirty Paraffin is "genre-defying"

We’ve been following The Fader’s Pitch Perfect documentary series since the start of the World Cup two weeks ago. In episode 2, The Fader documentary team receives a “short history…..

1 min read

People's Culture

[vodpod id=Video.3322857&w=450&h=370&fv=] Priceless footage of 1980s Community Arts Project in Durban, which, according to one of the founders, artist Bruno Brincat, was “… an idealistic arts project that was ahead…..

1 min read

'To Stay Illegally or To Die"

I am not sure about the ethics involved in making this film or how truthful the experiences of British journalist Sorious Samura are, but “Living with Illegals,” his 50 minute…..

1 min read

Staying Alive in Johannesburg

Part 1, above, of the Dutch TV documentary film, “Staying Alivein Joburg.” The film is limited in its focus–its primarily a walk through inner city Johannesburg ahead of the 2010…..