The 20th anniversary Encounters Documentary Festival
May 31-June 10
Just over 30 nonfiction features are presented in Cape Town and Johannesburg during Africa’s largest documentary event, including several South African productions such as those noted below.
Among the docs exploring culture and history are Akin Omotoso’s THE COLOUR OF WINE
, an exploration of South African winemaking from the perspective of black vintners; Hannah Rafkin and Meg Robbins’ IN STITCHES
, a look at stand-up comics performing in local languages; and Paul John Myburgh’s THE STORY OF LITTLE FOOT
, on the excavation and study of the titular archaeological discovery.
FREEDOM ISN’T FREE: THE FREEDOM CHARTER TODAY
Politically-focused work includes Xoliswa Sithole’s STANDING ON THEIR SHOULDERS
, an exploration of female activism through the story of a pivotal but under-appreciated 1956 protest; Andy Spitz’s VOETSEK! US? BROTHERS?
, which seeks to understand why xenophobia and violence are prevalent in South Africa; and Martin Jansen’s FREEDOM ISN’T FREE: THE FREEDOM CHARTER TODAY
, which challenges the lack of progress made for most South Africans since the end of apartheid.
SISTERS OF THE WILDERNESS
Other South African docs offer portraits of individuals and communities, including Molatelo Mainetje’s WHEN BABIES DON’T COME
, a personal chronicle of infertility and its impact; Riaan Hendricks’ RAMOTHOPO: THE CENTENARIAN
, a portrait of a supercentenarian preacher and his 99-year-old wife; and Karin Slater’s SISTERS OF THE WILDERNESS
, which follows young Zulu women as they explore their heritage through a pilgrimage into the wild.