The Bioscope is proud to once again host Encounters, The South African International Documentary Film Festival.

7 – 16 June. Tickets R60.

PROGRAMME:

Fri 7 June 7pm. MY FRIEND FELA BUY TICKETS

Fri 7 June 8:45pm. FILM FESTIVAL FILM + MY CULTURE MY MUSIC BUY TICKETS

Sat 8 June 5:30pm. MY STORY IS YET TO BE WRITTEN + LIKE THE SUN (SHORT) BUY TICKETS

Sat 8 June 7:30pm. BREAKFAST IN KISUMU + TRACING ADDAI + IF WE SAY THAT WE ARE FRIENDS BUY TICKETS

Sun 9 June 5:30pm. BILLY MONK – SHOT IN THE DARK + SCENES FROM A DRY CITY + JOHANNESBURG, CALIFORNIA BUY TICKETS

Sun 9 June 7:30pm. THE STATE AGAINST MANDELA AND THE OTHERS BUY TICKETS

Mon 10 June 7pm. FANON YESTERDAY, TODAY BUY TICKETS

Mon 10 June 8:45pm. TALKING ABOUT TREES BUY TICKETS

Tue 11 June 6:45pm. SHORTS PROGRAMME FULL PROGRAMME + BUY TICKETS

Tue 11 June 9pm. ZULU RETURN + FALL INTO THE SKY (SHORT) BUY TICKETS

Wed 12 June 7pm. VILLAGE VS EMPIRE + TIDAL (SHORT) BUY TICKETS

WED 12 June 9pm. MEETING GORBACHEV BUY TICKETS

Thu 13 June 7pm. TALKING ABOUT TREES BUY TICKETS

Thu 13 June 8:45pm. FANON YESTERDAY, TODAY BUY TICKETS

Fri 14 June 7pm. THE SOUND OF MASKS + TABU (SHORT) BUY TICKETS

Fri 14 June 8:45pm. OR TAMBO: THE JEWEL IN OUR CROWN (WITH Q&A) + HIDDEN QUEENS BUY TICKETS

Sat 15 June 5:30pm. RBG BUY TICKETS

Sat 15 June 8pm. BILLY MONK – SHOT IN THE DARK + SCENES FROM A DRY CITY + JOHANNESBURG, CALIFORNIA BUY TICKETS

Sun 16 Jun 5:30pm. THE SILENCE OF OTHERS + A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN (SHORT) BUY TICKETS

Sun 16 June 3pm. SOMEONE TO BLAME – THE AHMED TIMOL INQUEST BUY TICKETS

Sun 16 June 8pm. THE SPACE: THEATRE OF SURVIVAL BUY TICKETS

 

SYNOPSIS

Fri 7 June 7pm. MY FRIEND FELA BUY TICKETS

Dir. Joel Zito Aroújo 2019| Brazil|94 min. My Friend Fela explores the life of legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti from the perspective of his long-time friend Carlos Moore. The resulting film is both a portrait of a remarkable man and a tribute to the Pan-African generation.

Fri 7 June 8:45pm. FILM FESTIVAL FILM + MY CULTURE MY MUSIC BUY TICKETS

FILM FESTIVAL FILM Dir.  Perivi Katjavivi & Mpumelelo Mcata 2019 | Germany| South Africa| 48min

Shot over the course of a weekend at last year’s Durban International Film Festival, this documentary parody follows a young black woman filmmaker named Fanon as she prepares herself for her first pitch. Ambivalently splicing together elements of fiction and documentary, the film features interviews with some of South Africa’s leading film talents and reveals an industry that is fractured and fragmented by issues of race, identity, funding and post-colonialism.

MY CULTURE MY MUSIC Dir.  Fanney Tsimong 2019 | South Africa | 48min This soulful documentary illustrates how music has always been a powerful tool within South African culture. The connection between music and culture is expressed in this moving documentary where various South African artists narrate what music and culture mean to them. The artists featured in the film express their cultural heritage through their music.

Sat 8 June 5:30pm. MY STORY IS YET TO BE WRITTEN + LIKE THE SUN (SHORT) BUY TICKETS

MY STORY IS YET TO BE WRITTEN Dir. Jacqueline Gozland 2017 | France | Algeria| 76min

Africa’s most impressive centre of film, the Algerian Cinematheque, opened its doors in January 1965 at the instigation of Mohammed Moussaoul, who had been active in the FLN during the war of liberation. For four decades the cinematheque thrived before political changes sent it into decline. Jacqueline Gozland was a habitué of the venue, who left for France when the changes began. This is the film of her return and a love letter to a truly divine centre of cinema worship.

LIKE THE SUN Dir Hana Mahmoud 2018 | Egypt |23 minutes This impressionistic documentary chronicles the obsession of the filmmaker with her mentor, who disappeared from her life several years ago. Unable to give up on her search, she finds herself trapped in archival recordings of a series of lectures that he gave. The result is a fractured meditation on friendship, love, loneliness, and the creative process.

Sat 8 June 7:30pm. BREAKFAST IN KISUMU + TRACING ADDAI + IF WE SAY THAT WE ARE FRIENDS BUY TICKETS

BREAKFAST IN KISUMU Dir Rebecca Achieng Ajulu-Bushell 2019 | UK | South Africa| 37min Shot in multiple formats, from 16mm to digital, Breakfast in Kisumu is an intimately rendered tribute to renowned Kenyan academic and political activist Rok Ajulu, husband of Lindiwe Sisulu.

TRACING ADDAI Dir.  Esther Niemeier 2018| Germany  30 minutes Tracing Addai is a simple story about the tragic impact of war. When 22-year-old Addai leaves behind his life in Germany and moves to Syria to help the victims of the conflict, his mother is devastated despite Addai’s assertion that she shouldn’t worry and that he will be fine.

IF WE SAY THAT WE ARE FRIENDS Dir. Yaara Sumeruk 2019| South Africa|USA|17 minutes Class and race divisions are still very explicit and prominent in South Africa. If we say that we are friends explores the ways in which individuals have taken the step to create a conversation wherein we can begin to break down the structures that continue to oppress many.

Sun 9 June 5:30pm. BILLY MONK – SHOT IN THE DARK + SCENES FROM A DRY CITY + JOHANNESBURG, CALIFORNIA BUY TICKETS

BILLY MONK – SHOT IN THE DARK Dir Craig Cameron-Mackintosh 2019|South Africa|37min

Billy Monk was a photographer and bouncer who worked at the Catacombs nightclub in Cape Town in the late 1960s. Using only archival photographs and beautifully composed contemporary interviews, director Craig Cameron-Mackintosh provides an engaging portrait of Monk, bringing together the key characters of his tragic story. The resulting snapshot of Cape Town nightlife at the time offers a refreshing glimpse into a period of history that is usually rendered in very different images to those of Monk’s secret world of sailors, ‘sugar girls’, rock ‘n roll, and uninhibited joy

SCENES FROM A DRY CITY Dir Francois Verster & Simon Wood 2018| South Africa|13 minutes This beautifully crafted film looks at the recent Cape Town water crisis from a host of different perspectives: from illegal car washers to golfers on a lush green fairway. In the process, the film offers rich commentary on the racial inequality and income disparity in South African society.

JOHANNESBURG, CALIFORNIA 2018| South Africa|USA|20 minutes Dir. Ben Stillerman Along the Mojave Desert Ben Stillerman finds Johannesburg, California – named after the South African city. The documentary is a poignant view of a nostalgic home far away from home for the homesick filmmaker. While in conversation with the locals about how they came to find themselves there, a sense of familiarity and similarity between the 2 distant cities emerges.

Sun 9 June 7:30pm. THE STATE AGAINST MANDELA AND THE OTHERS BUY TICKETS

Dir Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte 2018|France|105 min. This remarkable documentary provides an engaging account of the Rivonia Freedom trial, allowing viewers access to an event that took place more than 50 years ago. While there were no cameras in the court when Nelson Mandela and his nine co-defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964, sound recordings were made throughout the trial. Directors Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte use these recordings, culled from 256 hours of audio, to create a vivid reflection on the apartheid era. The cross-examinations are illustrated by animated charcoal sketches and accompanied by interviews with those who were directly involved, as well as archive footage of several accused who passed on before the making of the film. The resulting film provides a history lesson that could never be learned inside a classroom.

Mon 10 June 7pm. FANON YESTERDAY, TODAY BUY TICKETS

Dir. Hassane Mezine 2018|France|Algeria|86min. Taking his point of departure in former French president, Nicholas Sarkozy’s criticized speech in Dakar in 2007 where he claimed that Africa and Africans have yet to insert themselves into world history, French-Algerian filmmaker Hassane Mezine embarks on a journey exploring the memory and legacy of Martiniquan psychiatrist, author and anti-colonial activist Frantz Fanon. Without reducing or romanticizing, Fanon is evoked, not as a glorified hero of the past, but as a thinker and inspiring do-er whose vision of true liberation the interviewees share.

Mon 10 June 8:45pm. TALKING ABOUT TREES BUY TICKETS

Dir. Suhaib Gasmalbari 2019 |France | Sudan | Chad | 90 min Charming and sad in equal measure is this paean to the love of cinema as two of the one-time luminaries of Sudanese cinema – Ibrahim Shaddad, Suleiman Mohamed and their cineaste friends Suliman Enour and Eltayeb Mahdi – attempt to revive a cinema in a country where movies have been banned for years. Here they take the fight further and try to navigate their way through bureaucracy and censorship to hold a screening in an enormous outdoor cinema. The fight is doomed but their spirit is triumphant. A gorgeous experience for those who travel in the projector’s beam.

Tue 11 June 6:45pm. SHORTS PROGRAMME FULL PROGRAMME + BUY TICKETS

Bromwell Street Dir. Simphiwe Dhlamini

Changing lives through dance Dir: Jade Simpson

Ek Staan Nog Sterk (Still I Stand) Dir: Octavia Sonyane

Friends of the Liesbeek Dir.  Andrya Blagusz

Gereza|Hustler Dir Shaun Nelson

Makukhanye (Let There Be Light) Dir: Olwethu Mdala.

Still a Man Dir: Godfrey Pandeka

Street Survival Dir. Cédric Choo

Thongo’lam Dir: Kiyindou Yamakasi

Waves Dir. Jessie Ayles

Tue 11 June 9pm. ZULU RETURN + FALL INTO THE SKY (SHORT) BUY TICKETS

ZULU RETURN Dir. gugulethu 2019 | South Africa | 92min The voice of director, gugulethu, over the opening animation and the rest of the documentary gives the impression of a griot, a storyteller who is responsible for maintaining the oral tradition in West African culture. gugulethu and Zulu Return become the griot for the artist, Afrika Bambaataa. The documentary follows the fallen hip hop hero’s spiritual quest to South Africa – the country he spent so much of his life honouring and defending through his music and activism – as he faces the effects of abuse allegations against him in his own life.

FALL INTO THE SKY 2018 | South Africa |9 minutes Director: Akuol De Mabior. Black women narrate their experiences of race, colourism, Afrophobia and Xenophobia in this powerful short documentary.

Wed 12 June 7pm. VILLAGE VS EMPIRE + TIDAL (SHORT) BUY TICKETS

VILLAGE VS EMPIRE Dir. Mark J Kaplan 2018 | South Africa | Norway | South Korea | 68min Village versus Empire (2016) is set on Jeju Island, off the coast of the Korean Peninsula – one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Nature’, and known as The Island of Stone, Peace Island and a Woman’s Island.

But, there is trouble in this paradise. It is being transformed – militarised. Its fragile ecology and ancient shamanistic traditions are currently being devastated by the construction of a US naval base that is perceived by the islanders as a globally dangerous provocation which imperils the island’s future and masks its troubled history. Village versus Empire, dramatizes the threat to Island life and nature, through the performances of an artist, Dohee Lee, born on the island and deeply troubled by its transformation, the activists who contest its occupation, the residents who have lived through its changes and the archive through which its traumatic past is uncovered.

TIDAL Dir. Trygve Heide 2018|South Africa|27 minutes It was hard, to say the least, for Lisa Beasley following a near-fatal BASE jumping accident. Since her accident, Lisa’s love for the ocean and its life has allowed her to heal. Diving has allowed her to, once again, feel free and limitless as she tries to conserve marine life.

WED 12 June 9pm. MEETING GORBACHEV BUY TICKETS

Dir. Werner Herzog & Andre Singer 2018|United Kingdom|USA|Germany|91 min. With the diffident but incisive charm that we have grown to love from Herzog this almost one on one meeting between a giant of cinema and a giant of the Soviet cannot fail to glue one to one’s seat. The film could as much be Mikhail Gorbachev interviewing Werner Herzog as the other way around. For audiences with little knowledge of the immense turns of history which took place within the Soviet State, the film is an easily digestible but by no means simple introduction to that history.

Thu 13 June 7pm. TALKING ABOUT TREES BUY TICKETS

Thu 13 June 8:45pm. FANON YESTERDAY, TODAY BUY TICKETS

Fri 14 June 7pm. THE SOUND OF MASKS + TABU (SHORT) BUY TICKETS

THE SOUND OF MASKS Dir. Sara CF de Gouveia. Atanásio Nhussi, a compelling storyteller and legendary Mapiko dancer, takes us on a visually dramatic journey through Mozambique’s past and present.

TABU Dir Nelson Makengo 2017|Democratic Republic of the Congo|15 minutes This freewheeling short film introduces us to Tabu, an itinerant salesman of aphrodisiacs, who travels to Kinshasa to sell his goods.

Fri 14 June 8:45pm. OR TAMBO: THE JEWEL IN OUR CROWN (WITH Q&A) + HIDDEN QUEENS BUY TICKETS

OR TAMBO: THE JEWEL IN OUR CROWN Dir Dali Tambo 2019 | South Africa | 78min This wide-ranging documentary about the life of revered ANC leader Oliver Tambo blends a wealth of archival footage with contemporary interviews with key political figures. The film depicts Tambo as a master diplomat, whose vision and foresight created the network of global alliances that constituted the anti-apartheid movement – the largest solidarity movement in history. While some attention is paid to his personal life, particularly his enduring relationship with his wife Adelaide, the film’s key focus is on Tambo’s role as the “architect of our freedom”.

HIDDEN QUEENS 2018|South Africa|4 minutes Dir. Okhule Dyosopu. This short documentary is imparted with compassion and focuses on the personal story of Thandokazi. Through an honest dialogue, Thandokazi gives the viewer insight on how it truly feels to leave your home, and your high repute amongst your family and community, to play the role of a “well behaved”, submissive domestic worker named Patricia.

Sat 15 June 5:30pm. RBG BUY TICKETS

Dir. Julie Cohen & Betsy West 2018|USA|93 min. Premiering at Sundance, this Oscar and BAFTA nominated documentary chronicles the life of legal pioneer and pop culture phenomenon Ruth Bader Ginsburg. At 84 years old she has proved a tireless warrior against gender discrimination, a champion for women’s rights, and shows no sign of stopping yet. Directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, this film is ultimately a celebration of a woman whose diminutive structure belies a formidable legal legacy and whose words echo still today: “I ask no favour for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks”.

Sat 15 June 8pm. BILLY MONK – SHOT IN THE DARK + SCENES FROM A DRY CITY + JOHANNESBURG, CALIFORNIA BUY TICKETS

Sun 16 Jun 5:30pm. THE SILENCE OF OTHERS + A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN (SHORT) BUY TICKETS

THE SILENCE OF OTHERS Dir Almudena Carracedo & Robert Bahar 2018| Spain|USA |93 min. The victory of Generalissimo Franco in Spain in 1939 cleared the way for fascism’s meteoric acceptance in the Europe of the nineteen-thirties. In this mesmerising film, produced by famed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, the survivors of human- rights abuses of horrifying dimensions battle to bring their persecutors to justice. After 40 years of Franco’s rule, the Spanish government still imposes an amnesia on the past, making it impossible to prosecute historical abuses. The film follows the participants in the historic Argentine Lawsuit who prosecute the abuses in Spain from beyond the borders. An inspiring film and a tribute to the tenacity of those who will not relent.

A NIGHT IN THE GADREN Dir.  Marshall Curry 2017|USA|7 minutes Shocking archive footage of 20 000 American Nazis filling Madison Square Gardens in New York in 1939. Outside 50 000 Communists and non-Nazis protested. The footage is, in the style of the time, magnificently shot, which further underlines the horror of it all.

Sun 16 June 3pm. SOMEONE TO BLAME – THE AHMED TIMOL INQUEST BUY TICKETS

Dir Enver Samuel 2019 |South Africa| 54 Minutes. On 27 October 1971, the body of South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol fell from the 10th floor of John Vorster Square Police Station. The film follows the court proceedings, as well as interviewing family members and others involved in the case. Someone To Blame and the case it documents are about more than the Ahmed Timol case, opening the way for justice for the relatives of the scores of other activists who died in police detention during apartheid.

Sun 16 June 8pm. THE SPACE: THEATRE OF SURVIVAL BUY TICKETS

Dir Mark Street & Dan Poole 2019 | South Africa | United Kingdom | 87min. The Space tells the story of the theatre and community that gave birth to some of South Africa’s most important writing and acting talents and its most significant works of protest theatre. Set against the volatile political backdrop, a group of artists risked everything to build a safe non-racial space dedicated to artistic, social, and political freedoms. Featuring Athol Fugard (now the most performed playwright in the world after Shakespeare), John Kani and Winston Ntshona, Fatima Dike, Nomhle Nkonyeni, Wilson Dunster, Percy Sieff, Richard E Grant, and many more, The Space is narrated by multiple-award-winning acting legend, James Earl Jones.