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Icarus Film
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I Talk About Me, I Am Africa
A Film by Chris Austin & Peter Chappell
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Filmed in 1980 at the height of the apartheid era in South Africa, this is an intimate look at black South Africans' cultural resistance to apartheid. Relying primarily on performances, I TALK ABOUT ME, I AM AFRICA reveals an exciting variety of theatrical forms and points-of-view.

We are now offering this unique primary source document of South African theatre and cultural history on DVD, made from a new video master with restored audio and picture.

- In an illegal shantytown on the outskirts of Cape Town, the Crossroads Woman's Committee performs Imfuduso (Forced to Move), which dramatizes their ongoing battles with the police who are trying to demolish their homes and community.

- Playright Gibson Kente's musical company (the most commercially successful black theater group of the time) tours ghetto halls in government-sanctioned performances of The Load.

- The James Mthoba Workshop presents John Ledwaba and Hamilton Silwane in Matsemala Manaka's Egoli (City of Gold). The two actors use mime and stark staging to suggest symbolic links between prisons and the gold mines beneath Johannesburg.

- Finally, in a Soweto backyard the Mihloti Black Theatre with Ingoapele Madingoane present an illegal reading - accompanied by flutes and drums - of Madingoane's defiant, epic poem I Talk About Me, I Am Africa, one of the most evocative anthems of the era.

"A selective survey of different styles; it's a debate about cultural strategy; and most importantly it's a moving celebration."—Time Out


54 minutes / color
Release: 1981
Copyright: 1980
Sale: $298

Subject areas:
Africa, Performing Arts, South Africa, Theater

Related Titles:
End of the Dialogue: A landmark film that was one of the first to reveal the full horrors of apartheid to the world.

Last Grave at Dimbaza: Shot secretly and smuggled out of South Africa at the height of the apartheid era, this was the most widely screened and influential anti-apartheid documentary. Now restored and on DVD for the first time.

A Common Purpose: The trial of the "Upington 25" in South Africa in 1986 saw twenty-five men and women from a black township tried for the murder of a local black policeman.

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Last Updated August 17, 2015
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