"This film is not a mere observation of my country but an interaction. I will engage with my country, challenge it." — Filmmaker Khalo Matabane
STORY OF A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY is the journey of Khalo Matabane, a young black filmmaker in search of his "new country," the promised land — the new South Africa. Matabane, travelling with a hand-held camera throughout nine provinces of his country, films entirely from the seat of a mini-bus taxi, capturing the physical beauty of a still troubled land.
The taxi also serves as an open forum for ordinary people to talk about their feelings and impressions of the new South Africa, which broke away from apartheid in 1994. Following the format of talk radio, a national obsession, topics range over controversial issues such as land, race, language, globalization, democracy, identity, and violence.
Many realize that after hundreds of years of racial oppression, peace and tolerance will not come to this country overnight. Despite the hurdles, however, South Africans— regardless of race and social status—are proud of their country and willing to defend it.
STORY OF A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY expresses the hopes and dreams of the youth— the next generation of people trying to find their way and their voice in the new South Africa.
"Recommended! A personal examination of today's diverse South Africa through the eyes of its citizens. Engaging... The film offers a unique opportunity for the viewer to gain awareness of South Africa through everyday people in an intimate fashion." - Educational Media Reviews Online
2005 African Studies Association Film Festival
2005 New York African Film Festival
2005 African Literature Association Film Festival
2004 Columbus Film Festival
2004 Nyon Film Festival
2004 Hot Docs Film Festival
"There are elements of very good film here...fascinating stories...Beautifully shot and accompanied by a moving soundtrack." - Professor Sean Jacobs, New York University, for Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Comparative Studies
"Deftly inverts both road movies and audience expectations... a fresh exploration of how [the] past extends into the present, as rich in guarded, uncertain hope as it is free of easy answers." - worldchanging.com