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