Salt up your popcorn and turn down the lights, South Africa’s longest-running film festival, the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) has started and runs until August 1.
For the second year the festival is taking place virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic; however it still boasts a programme of close to 140 feature films, documentaries and shorts.
The festival opened with the action-thriller “The Eagle’s Nest”, a migration and poverty story by award-winning Cameroonian-born British-based Olivier Assoua. And the closing film is “Threshold”, an autobiographical documentary made by Brazilian director Coraci Ruiz.
It tells the story of a mother who follows the gender transition of her adolescent son between 2016 and 2019.
She interviews him, addressing the conflicts, certainties and uncertainties that pervade him in a deep search for his identity.
At the same time, the mother also goes through a process of transformation required by the situation by breaking old paradigms, facing fears and dismantling prejudices.
Other must watch films during the festival include:
Directed by Khalid EL-Jelailati, the film follows the spiralling journey of Nandi and Carl in the underbelly of the criminal world.
The two meth addicts struggle to make ends meet and are forced to turn to prostitution to feed their habits.
This comes at a high personal cost as they find themselves encroaching on the territory of Moth, an ambitious and violent pimp, soon to be the most dominant meth dealer in town.
Whether it’s thanks to bad luck or good fortune they somehow stumble across a bag filled with Moth’s drugs and true to junkie form – they steal it.
What ensues is a cacophony of violence and blood.
A 17-year-old girl, moves to the countryside of Brazil with her mother.
To avoid being bullied in her new school, Valentina tries to enrol with her new name, and hopes to be private about her gender history.
However, the girl and her mother quickly face dilemmas when the local public high school needs a second parental signature for enrolment.
“Valentina” is a reflection of the real life hardships that society forces a strong young woman to endure, and to embrace who she is without question.
The Last Shelter
This documentary recently won an award at the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival.
Director Ousmane Samassekou journeys to the infamous House of Migrants in the Malian city of Goa where Esther and Kady meet a migrant.
The trio finds a semblance of family life, sharing moments of joy, hope and tenderness. But the girls can’t shake the dream of a future abroad.
Pusha Pressa Phanda
Directed by Dick d’vLz Reubïn, the story follows the story of street youth Mandisa as she struggles to obtain medication and sanitary pads for her sister who is under her care.
Faced with numerous obstacles along the way,
Mandisa represents the struggle inherently facing women in their relentless pursuit for survival.
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