1 – 10 JUNE BOOK NOW
The Bioscope is proud to welcome The Encounters Documentary Film Festival back for another year of world class documentaries!
1 June 6h45PM: In Stitches + Kill or Die (Q&A) BUY TICKETS In Stitches – Dirs Hannah Rafkin & Meg Robbins | South Africa | 2018 | 48 minutes. In a country with 11 official languages, stand-up comedy has long been overwhelmingly dominated by English and Afrikaans. This is changing. In Stitches follows three vernacular comedians on the circuit and shows how something as simple as being funny in one’s home language can be a vehicle for social change. Kill or Die – Dir: Suzanne Moody | South Africa | 2017 | 43 minutes. A glimpse at the harsh world of comedy, Kill or Die follows four young comedians as they make headway in the local comedy scene.
1 June 8h45PM: Ramathopo BUY TICKETS. Dir Riaan Hendricks | 2018 | South Africa | 93 min. Award winning director Hendricks returns to the screen with an unflinching portrait of centenarian Ramathopo. The 110-year- old preacher, who once had hundreds of followers, now lives with his 99 year old wife Anna, a renowned prophetess and healer in her own right, and their family in the dusty village of Botlokwa in the Limpopo province.
2 June 3PM: Mandela (Q&A) BUY TICKETS. Dir Jo Menell, Angus Gibson / 1996 / USA / 1h58min. Follows Nelson Mandela, from his early protests against racial discrimination, to his election as South Africa’s first Democratically elected leader.
2 June 6PM: Pluck : a film not just about the chicken (Q&A) BUY TICKETS. Dir Joëlle Chesselet and Lloyd Ross | 2017 | South Africa | 73 min. Filmmakers Ross and Chesselet take a deep dive into South Africa’s history through the brutally honest lens of Mzanzi’s favourite chicken establishment. The film takes a look at the inception of their notoriously memorable and witty advertisements and pulls back the curtain on the biggest laughs, shocks and controversies that made Nando’s one of South Africa’s most recognizable global brands.
2 June 8PM: Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle BUY TICKETS. Dir Gustavo Salmerón Spain | 2017 88 min. Lots of Kids, a Monkey, and a Castle is Spanish filmmaker Salmerón’s loving, unsentimental portrait of his chaotic family: his father, his siblings, and his remarkable mother, who is the centre of the film. Filmed over 14 years and edited down from over 400 hours of footage, Lots of Kids is a meditation on how a family holds itself together, and a consideration of all the different stories we tell ourselves about the past.
3 June 2h30 PM: JHB Shorts FOR SYNOPSIS AND BUY TICKETS. Film titles in the program: Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth, Masquerading: To hell and back, Music in The Mountains: A film about the Drakensburg Boys Choir School, Spots in the Mountain, Iphepha, Looking for Ned, World Wildlife Fund.
3 June 6PM: The DeMiner + Find Fix Finish (Short) BUY TICKETS. Dir Hogir Hirori, Shinwar Kamal. Sweden | 2018. 83 min. In what has been described as the non-fiction counterpart to Kathryn Bigelow’s Hurtlocker, comes a film that chronicles the bravery of Iraqi IED-defuser; Colonel Fakhir Berwari. Leaning awkwardly on his prosthetic leg he bends and swiftly, surely, disarms kitchen pots refashioned as cruel mines using simple tools – a pair of clippers and a knife.
3 June 8PM: Silas BUY TICKETS. Dir Hawa Essuman &; Anjali Nayar | 2018 | Liberia/South Africa | 80 min. This is the inspiring story of Silas Siakor, a political activist who has devoted his life to protecting the people and forests of Liberia from multinational corporations and their governmental lackeys – who hand over land that has belonged to communities for generations to companies who strip it of its timber and replace the natural forests with palm oil plantations.
4 June 6h45PM: This is Congo BUY TICKETS. Dir Daniel McCabe USA/Canada/DRC | 2017 92 min. This Is Congo documents the most recent cycle of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, otherwise known as the M23 rebellion. It chronicles the lives of three people caught up in the violence – a magnetic and bullish army colonel, a professional tailor who takes his sewing machine with him each time war breaks out, and a single mother who supports her family by illegally trading gemstones.
4 June 8h45PM: Zhalanash + Becoming Visible + Guardian of the Ocean BUY TICKETS. Zhalanash – Empty Shore. Dir Marcin Sauter | Poland | 2017 | 40 minutes. Becoming Visible Dir Janet Solomon |South Africa | 2018 |33 min. From acclaimed Durban artist Solomon, this fascinating fusion of documentary and video art tells of the impact on local marine life by seismic exploration off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Guardian Of The Ocean: A Film About The SANCCOB Dir Nelisiwe Ngobeni, South Africa | 2018 | 10 minutes. The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds was born in the backyard of Althea Westphal’s Claremont home where she took in injured penguins after the Esso Essen oil spill in the late 1960s.
5 June 6h45PM: Untitled BUY TICKETS. Dir Michael Glawogger & Monika Willi Austria| 2017 107 minutes. Untitled is the last project of Austrian filmmaker Michael Glawogger, who died in 2014 while making the film. Glawogger had set out to make a “film about nothing”, to aimlessly wander through the world, documenting the things that passed before him with only his curiosity and intuition as guidance. Awards: German Camera Award 2017 – Best Documentary, Viennale 2017 – Vienna Film Award Best Documentary.
5 June 8:30PM: Slavery Routes 1+2 (Q&A) BUY TICKETS. Dir Daniel Cattier, Juan Gélas, Fanny Glissant, France/UK | 2018, 52 minutes. Before there was oil, there were slaves. The system that resulted in over 20 million Africans being taken by force, bound and beaten, sold and reduced to slavery has fundamentally shaped and defined the world around us. But how did Africa end up at the heart of the slavery route? To answer this critical question, The Slavery Routes takes us to the fall of the Rome, the subsequent Arabian Empire built from its ruins, and the trans-Saharan caravan routes that provided the beginnings of a 700 year vast network of human trafficking between Cairo and Timbuktu.
6 June 6h45PM: Survivours (Q&A) BUY TICKETS. Dir Anna Fitch, Lansana Mansaray, Arthur Pratt, Banker White Sierra Leone/ USA 2017 84 minutes. Survivors is an account of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Filled with warmth, humanity, and a remarkable cast –from an ambulance driver to a young homeless boy to a pastor-cum- filmmaker – Survivors is an insightful chronicle of a public health epidemic in the face of limited resources.
6 June 8h45PM: Mining Memory + Land and Identity (Q&A) BUY TICKETS. Land and Identity - Dir Nomakhomazi Dewavrin & Okuhle Dyo | 2017 | South Africa | 50 min. This film is a moving account of the impact on kids and families of decisions that uproot people, evicting them from their homes and communities for reasons of greed and dubious policy. Mining Memory: Legacies of St Helena in the Northern Cape - Dir Daniel Yon | Canada/St Helena/South Africa | 2018 | 56 minutes. Considered neither ‘European’ or ‘Native’, the St Helenian immigrants who found themselves in the small mining community of Concordia, Namaqualand in 1907, were confronted with a bewildering social climate in a barren land.
7 June 6h45PM: Voetsek! (Q&A) BUY TICKETS. Dir Andy Spitz | 2017 | South Africa | 76 min. The xenophobic violence that has marred South African life over the last decade is often reduced to two key periods: the wave of attacks against ikwerekwere that began in Alexandra Township in 2008 and spread to the rest of the country in the following weeks, and the upsurge of violence in 2015 after King Goodwill Zwelithini publicly stated that foreigners should “go back to their countries”.
7 June 8h30PM: A Cambodian Spring BUY TICKETS. Dir Christopher Kelly. UK/Cambodia | 2017 126 min. A complex, but engrossing, detailed narrative of a community’s struggle over many years to protect their land and homes from rapacious development and environmental degradation. Though the struggle recounted is in Cambodia, it is a universal one. The film intersperses images of environmental damage with images of human suffering,bureaucratic bombast and close ups that emphasise the strength of the human spirit. Awards: Brooklyn International Film Festival 2017 – Best Documentary, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary 2017 – Best International Documentary.
8 June 6h45PM: Children of War + Free Education (Q&A) BUY TICKETS. Children of War - Dir Nhlanhla Mthethwa | South Africa | 2017 | 49 minutes. A much-needed look at the chaotic years between 1991 and 1994 in the townships east of Johannesburg, Children of War reveals vital stories often left untold. The film explores the insidious origins of the violence that seemed, for many involved, to appear from nowhere. Free Education: The Story of Bonginkosi Khanyile - Dir Michael van Niekerk | South Africa | 2017 | 40 minutes This powerful short chronicles the events of the #FeesMustFall movement from the perspective of DUT student Bonginkosi Khanyile, who inadvertently became one of the movement’s significant faces after being arrested and detained for nearly six months. The film provides an incisive critique of the struggle for free, quality, decolonised education.
8 June 8h45PM: Beautiful People (Q&A) BUY TICKETS. Dir Nicky Greenwall, South Africa | 2018 | 48 minutes. The first of a ten-part documentary series, Nicky Greenwall’s The Beautiful People follows five international models as they navigate the ups and downs of a Cape Town summer season. The Beautiful People shows the occasionally grim realities of a business that many people still think of as glamorous.
9 June 5h30PM: Above and Below (Q&A) BUY TICKETS. Dir Nicolas Steiner Switzerland/Germany | 2015 | 118 minutes. Blurring the lines between fiction and documentary, this mesmerising and beautifully shot film follows five survivors through their daily hustle in a seemingly post-apocalyptic world – although the reality is that they are simply living on the margins of contemporary America. Awards: German Film Awards 2016 – Best Documentary & Best Cinematography, Munich International Documentary Festival (DOK.fest) 2015 – German Documentary Music Award, Swiss Film Prize 2016 – Best Documentary, Sound & Editing
9 June 8h45: Matangi / M.I.A / Maya (Q&A with M.I.A. in attendance) BUY TICKETS. Dir Steve Loveridge, USA/UK | 2017, 97 minutes. Sri Lankan born daughter of the founder of the Tamil Resistance Movement and problematic pop-star, M.I.A. defies being pigeonholed. Using footage that has been captured over the last 22 years Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. allows unprecedented access to the forging of one of the most controversial and divisive artists of our time. Encounters has concert tix to give away at screenings. M.I.A concerts dates are CT 7 June Old Biscuit Mill and Jozi 8 June Newtown Music Factory. www.mia.blackmajor.co.za. Concert Tix available from www.Quicket.co.za
10 June 3h30PM: Battle of Algiers BUY TICKETS. Dir Malek Bensmaïl France/Switzerland/Algeria | 2017 | 117 minutes. This is a thrilling behind the curtain look at Gillo Pontecorvo’s iconic 1967 feature film The Battle of Algiers that famously won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival while at the same time was in the process of being banned in France. The masterful tale of revolutionary aspiration and political insurrection, as Algeria fought for independence from France, is not far removed from the political conflicts at play in the world today.
6PM: The Colour of Wine (Q&A) BUY TICKETS. Dir Akin Omotoso | 2018 | South Africa | 68 min. If there’s a message in the bottle, then Omotoso presupposes it’s not only about a winemaker but a country. Through the lens of first generation black vintners, The Colour of Wine looks at the history of South Africa winemaking and how we are still working to eradicate the ignoble rot of apartheid from our vineyards.
7h45PM: Westwood BUY TICKETS. Dir Lorna Tucker UK | 2018 79 min Plenty has been said about designer Vivienne Westwood; for the past 50-odd years of her astonishing career she has been feared, ridiculed, admired and lauded – possibly in equal measure. This film is a stitching together of her life. Like her garments, pieces are taken from here and there, the past with the present, to create one extraordinary, beautiful whole. Nomination: Sundance Film Festival 2018 – Nominee