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Icarus Film
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Ordinary People
City of Dreams
Directed by Clifford Bestall
Produced by Harriet Gavshon
A Mail & Guardian Television Production
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Incongrouos as it may seem from afar, Johannesburg is a beacon for immigrants from all over Africa. Every year, increasingly more thousands come, both legally and illigally, from Zimbabwe, Angola, Zaire, and other neighboring countries.

The influx of immigrants -- who are often skilled -- is causing tensions and concerns similar to those in the U.S. and other countries: are the foreigners going to take the jobs of newly "free" South Africans? What is it that South Africa represents for these new arrivals, and what do their aspirations and experiences reveal about South Africa today?

CITY OF DREAMS spends a day in Ponte City, perhaps the tallest residential building in the southern hemisphere, and home to thousands of immigrants from all over Africa. This film introduces Babu, a bandmember in Ponte City's Zairian evangelical church; Mary, organizer of the on-premise nightclub's "Miss Manhattan Africa" competition; and James, a Zimbabwean banker and complex resident, who attends the pageant. The film reveals a city of dreamers, who in turn lend fascinating insights into the aspirations of urban Africans in South Africa.


26 minutes / color
Release: 1994
Copyright: 1993
Sale: $195

Subject areas:
Africa, Multi-Cultural Studies, South Africa

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Last Updated August 17, 2015
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