Doc Watchers: Real Stories from a Free South Africa

Monday, January 7th, 7:00pm

Doc Watchers: Real Stories from a Free South Africa

Curated by Hellura Lyle

How have the ten years of freedom from apartheid since Nelson Mandela’s election in May, 1994 effected the lives of ordinary South Africans? In 2003, South African Broadcasting 1, the most widely-watched channel in South Africa, with the support of the National Film and Video Foundation, decided to find out. They commissioned fourteen emerging filmmakers from different classes and racial groups to make video portraits of South African society. Real Stories from a Free South Africa is a fascinating experiment in empowering people to tell their own life stories as they are unfolding. It provides a unique grassroots view of the first decade of one of the most ambitious and radical experiments in social reconstruction in human history.



Minky Schlesinger and Khetiwe Ngcobo,  2004, 52 min.

Born into exile as the daughter of political émigrés, Kethiwe Ngcobo and her family returned to their longed-for homeland, South Africa in 1994. Ten years later, Kethiwe, a hip, young woman with a British accent finds herself struggling to find her place in the new South Africa. This is a personal and honest look at one person’s quest for identity.


Hot Wax

Andrea Spitz, 2004, 49 min.

Ivy is a black woman who managed to run her own beauty salon surreptitiously during the dark days of apartheid. She lives in Alexandra, a restless and poor township, while her white, mostly elderly, clients live in the tree-lined suburbs of Johannesburg. In her salon she is part beautician, long-time friend, lay counselor and honest commentator to her customers. While she masks her clients’ imperfections, she also peels away layers of difference separating the races.

Reception to follow screening

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