The 19th Encounters Documentary Festival
Nearly 50 features are in the lineup of Africa’s largest nonfiction event, with screenings taking place in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa.
While the festival offers a well-curated selection of recent international projects, it also presents several South African projects, including a number focused on women: Nomakhomazi Dewavrin’s INDWE, a music-oriented exploration of an historic 1950s women’s march; Aliki Saragas’ STRIKE A ROCK, which looks at female political activists in the wake of the 2012 Marikana massacre; Lucy Witts and Brad Schaffer’s DRAGAN’S LAIR, a personal film in which one of the filmmakers confronts her abuser; and Eva Munyiri’s WAITHIRA
(pictured), a portrait of the filmmaker’s Kenyan grandmother.
A number of South African films reckon with injustice, both historical and current, including: Sifiso Khanyile’s UPRIZE! (pictured), on under-explored student protests and murders in 1976; Vincent Moloi’s SKULLS OF MY PEOPLE, about the quest by Namibians to receive reparation for Germany’s colonial past; Davison Mudzingwa and Lucas Ledwaba’s TROUPES OF WAR: DITURUPA, a look at black South African military tradition; Miki Redelinghuys’ THIS LAND, which exposes government-backed corporate land grabbing in ruiral South Africa; and Aryan Kaganof’s METALEPSIS IN BLACK, an experimental chronicle of a recent student protest movement.
Additional national cinema featured at the event includes Daniel Zimbler’s GOLDBLATT, about one of the nation’s leading photographers; Riaan Hendricks’ A COUNTRY OF FISHERS, an observational portrait of a fisherman; and Bryan Little’s DEEP BLUE/MIDDLE C, a psychedelic surf film documenting an interdisciplinary coastal collaboration.