Documentaries Made In The Western Cape

The Boers at the End of the World (2015)

In a remote stretch of Patagonia, Argentina, there is a 100-year-old community that speaks Afrikaans - a language only spoken in South Africa. After the destruction of a war with the British, these Boers - descendants of Dutch settlers - sailed across the ocean to start a new life. Today, only a few dozen still speak the language and they are struggling to keep their culture alive. The film is a portrait of the last days of the community and one family's longing to reconnect with South Africa.

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Production Company: GOOD WORK 

Director: Richard Finn Gregory

The Shore Break (2015)

The Shore Break, about the proposed titanium mine and tolled highway on the Wild Coast, was described by the jurors of the Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award as a “powerful portrayal of a struggle within a local community regarding foreign mining rights in a pristine environment…[It] concisely and movingly uncovers this complex and urgent matter, which is still under investigation and in need of public support.”

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Directed by Ryley Grunenwald

A Khoe Story 2 – Returning the Remains

A Khoe Story 2 – Returning the Remains is part of a thought-provoking trilogy of documentary films about the legacy, oppression and resurgence of South Africa’s indigenous inhabitants, the Khoe and San.

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A Khoe Story 1 – Reclaiming the Mother Tongue

A Khoe Story 1Reclaiming the Mother Tongue explores the history of Khoekhoegowab, the collective term used for South Africa’s indigenous languages, which are currently on the brink of extinction. The film focuses on the impact of colonialism and Apartheid, as well as the subsequent institutionalisation of English and Afrikaans in South Africa, and the quest to eradicate the Khoe-San mother tongue.

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Papwa - The Lost Dream of a South African Golfing Legend is about Papwa Sewgolum, born to a poor family of sugar cane laborers in 1928.who won the “Dutch Open” 3 times in 6 years, the “Natal Open” twice in 1963 beating Harold Henning, and in 1965 beating Gary Player. As a result of that win Papwa, at the peak of his career, was banned by the apartheid government from participating in and attending PGA tournaments. They withdrew his passport, denying him the right to play internationally. It slowly broke his spirit; left him with nothing but a dream...

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SA Production Company: little L.A. Productions

A Lucky Man (2014)

Born into a family where he is an outsider and growing up in a city and country in which he is a member of a community deemed neither white nor black, Ernie ‘Lastig’ Solomon sets out on a road fraught with crime, violence and abuse in search of himself and a place he can call home. It is the universal tale of humanity: the longing for belonging. A Lucky Man is first full-length feature film to premiere exclusively on a social network (MxIt)

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Directed by Gordon Clark

Unearthed (2014)

Unearthed takes us from the Karoo to the US as Jolynn Minaar investigates fracking. She finds that it releases methane and other harmful chemical into the water, and that desperate witnesses are quickly bought off by large companies before they can speak out. As the SA government lifts its moratorium on fracking, Minaar becomes an impassioned anti-fracking activist, trying to save the Karoo and its residents.

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Directed by Jolynn Minaar

Spring Queen (2014)

Cape Town’s annual Spring Queen Pageant gives the city’s clothing and textile factory workers the chance to be ‘Cinderella for a Night’. But as the market is flooded with cheap imports, forcing many factories to close their doors, the contest takes on a new urgency: the new Queen must accept the responsibility of representing her Union in an uncertain future.

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Directed by Paul Yule

An Inconsolable Memory (2013)

Forging documentary narrative and deep meditations on the nature of memory, and film, into a single compelling piece, An Inconsolable Memory, a contemplative piece about the Eoan Group, from the vibrant era of Cape Town’s District Six to the present day, questions a continuously shifting collective memory woven through with a political history and remarkable opera productions.

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Directed by Aryan Kaganof

Crumbs (2013)

The David versus Goliath story of Imraahn Mukaddam, the bread reseller who blew the whistle on bread price-fixing in South Africa. The documentary explores the legal, financial and personal turmoil of Imraahn’s fight against the corporate food machine in the quest for accountability and social justice.

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Directed by Dante Greeff & Richard Finn Gregory


Saying Goodbye (2012)

In 2006 Patricia Davison, a respected doctor and psychiatrist was 85 and had terminal cancer. She wrote a living will and made it clear to her children that she was ready to die. After a 35-day hunger strike she pleaded with her youngest son Sean to help her to die. Saying Goodbye is Sean's painful and moving story of how he gave her a lethal dose of morphine and the impact this had on him and his family when he was arrested and charged with murder and assisted suicide.

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Directed by Yzette Mostert

Searching for Sugarman (2012)

Two South Africans set out in the late 1990s to discover whether the rumoured death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez was true, and, if not, to discover what had become of him. Rodriguez's music, which never took off in the United States, had become wildly popular in South Africa, but little was known about him there.

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Progress (2011)

A documentary about a rugby club made up mainly of factory workers and unemployed men who defeat the largest rugby club in the world on South Africa’s Heritage Day.

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Directed by Simon Taylor

Imam and I (2011)

A complex and refreshingly honest portrait of the famous Muslim anti-Apartheid icon Imam Abdullah Haron, who happens to be Shamis’ grandfather. Shamis, born in London to a South African mother and Libyan father, was trained in the UK and Middle East as a writer, director and editor. He settled in South Africa in 2005 and set out on a journey to Cape Town to retrace his grandfather’s footsteps.

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Directed by Khalid Shamis

Glitterboys and Ganglands (2011)

Glitterboys and Ganglandsis the story of three contestants in the Miss Gay Western Cape competition in Cape Town.

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Directed by Lauren Beukes

Incarcerated Knowledge (2011)

We meet Peter Christians the day he is released from Pollsmoor. After serving 5 years at South Africa’s most notorious prison, he is quietly elated to be free again. He is standing on the chilly winter pavement, and waiting for his mother to come and collect him. The feeling of freedom is short lived. An angry parole officer approaches from across the street and forcefully grabs Peter and marches him back into the parole office waiting room. This is the beginning of life on the outside.

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Directed by Dylan Valley.


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