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Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Giant Steps

giant steps is an afrocentric approach to blackness now!

dashiki poet lefifi tladi guides us on a journey of consciousness, analysing and interpreting the meaning of independence as opposed to freedom. he is accompanied on this radical exploration by the cream of south african poets, musicians, dancers and visual artists, including zim ngqawana, don laka, kgafela oa magogodi, lesego rampolokeng, afurakan, mac manaka, thabo mashishi, moshe maboe, moeketsi koena and motlhabane mashiangwako. giant steps is a moving tribute to its co-director, bra’ geoff mphakati, who passed away tragically during the filming of this, his first documentary.

south africa, 2005, 52min, dvcam
directed by geoff mphakati & aryan kaganof
produced by ziyanda ngcaba for african noise foundation
original music score by johnny dyani & lefifi tladi
director of photography – ak thembeka
sound recordist – basiami bitsang segolo
sound editor – the dark magus
final mix – ja assagai
edited by doc zabalaza

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A film and a script: SMS Sugarman (now online for free) and Citizen Cohen


The first full length feature film shot on a mobile phone camera, SMS Sugarman, is now online and can be watched in its entirety for free.


CITIZEN KOHEN is a filmmaker who, traveling internationally to film festivals as an honoured, if badly behaved, guest, slips into the roles of assassin, seducer and philosopher. The progress of Kohen’s travels is interrupted by film reviews and analyses written by fictitious critics. These analyses primarily involve a film called femme de siecle, which Citizen Kohen made as an homage to the great Spanish director Jesus Franco. The novel ends with a vast filmography of Citizen Kohen. The novel creates a myth of cinema along the lines of Stephen Laws’ Demoniac, Tim Lucas’ Throat Sprockets and Theodor Roszak’s Flicker.’

San Francisco

Big Mike is waiting for Citizen Kohen at the airport. He really is huge, picks up both items of luggage effortlessly, throws them into the boot of the Lincoln Continental. They cruise into the city at a leisurely pace, up Third Street past Mission and finally left into Mason where Mike stops on the corner of Eddy. The enormous man looks long and hard at Citizen Kohen.


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“For centuries a small number of writers were confronted by many thousands of readers. This changed toward the end of the last century. With the increasing extension of the press, which kept placing new political, religious, scientific, professional, and local organs before the readers, an increasing number of readers became writers – at first, occasional ones. It began with the daily press opening to its readers space for “letters to the editor.” And today there is hardly a gainfully employed European who could not, in principle, find an opportunity to publish somewhere or other comments on his work, grievances, documentary reports, or that sort of thing. Thus, the distinction between author and public is about to lose its basic character. The difference becomes merely functional; it may vary from case to case. At any moment the reader is ready to turn into a writer.” Walter Benjamin, 1936

great art daily

over 150 contributors:

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Bhekizizwe Peterson on Steve Biko and Documentary Filmmaking

Keynote address by Wits University’s Prof. Bhekizizwe Peterson at the People to People International Documentary Conference 13 September 2007:

The Value of Bantu Steve Biko’s Thinking for Self-referential Documentary Filmmaking in the South

I would like to start by commending the organisers of the conference for paying tribute to the memory of Bantu Steve Biko in this week when we commemorate 30 years of his brutal murder by the apartheid government. I am particularly pleased by the provocative topic that they set for my talk: The value of Bantu Steve Biko’s thinking for self-referential documentary filmmaking in the South. The focus implied in the topic rightly challenges us to approach Biko as a living beacon and to engage with the continued relevance of his life and ideas in ways that include but surpass his status as a martyr in the struggle for liberation in South Africa. It is in this spirit, then, that I will tease out a few provocations from Biko’s writings that, I hope, will be engaged with more extensively during the conference.

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