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Strike a Rock: The Women of Marikana on AfriDocs

Posted by radio On July - 31 - 2017

In August AfriDocs celebrates the spirit of women- through stories both large and small. The role of African women in civic and political spaces has never been easy, and AfriDocs is proud to share films that bring to life the everyday struggles and successes of brave women who are standing up for their own rights, as well as the rights of others.

 

A not-to-be-missed highlight for August is Strike a Rock, is a counterpoint to Rehad Desai’s Miners Shot Down. This 2017 film tells the story of two South African mothers, Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana, who lead their community in a fight against seemingly insurmountable odds for equality, justice and dignity.

 

The film recently won the Audience Award, Best Local Film, Encounters Documentary Festival in South Africa.

 

Director Aliki Saragas has this to say about the film:

 

Leading up to the 5th anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, we will never forget that justice has been delayed and denied. Not only for the families of those who were killed and the injured and arrested mineworkers but also for the community that lives around Lonmin Plc. Our hope is that our documentary, Strike A Rock, will put the women of Marikana’s struggle on the world stage.

 

My aim was to weave together the perspectives of the women using a sensitive, unobtrusive and intimate camera. The film takes the viewer on a journey through trauma, history, loss, memory, friendship, and the fear of being further forgotten as Thumeka and Primrose survive each day.

 

At the same time, we are confronted with a very real obstruction of justice and lack of accountability on the side of Lonmin, who shirk their legal obligations to the community, and the South African government, who in turn neglect to ensure that the required socio-economic development takes place. In this context, the personal becomes the political and that is where the impact of the film lies.

 

After over three years of creating this documentary the journey is only really beginning now as we use the film to build on a movement focusing on extractive practices and their socio-economic and environmental impacts in South Africa and Southern Africa regionally.

 

Screened at over 120 film festivals world-wide and winner of the Prix Artet Essai at the Cannes Film Festival, Sisters in Law has become an African classic. A cross between “Judge Judy” and “TheNo.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” Sisters in Law has audiences cheering when justice is served.

 

Between Rings is the story of Zambia’s Esther Phiri, the seven-time world boxing champion. Hers is a remarkable story, Esther lived with her grandmother and joined her selling groceries and second hand clothes in the market. She dropped out of school and became a single mother at age 16. But a turning point in Esther’s life came about when the international NGO Africa Directions started a youth-centered HIV-awareness project in the area, combining health education and sport. Esther was the only girl in a physical training program that focused on boxing.

 

AfriDocs can be seen every SUNDAY at 10pm (CAT) on BET Africa, DStv channel 129. 

 

For more information: www.afridocs.netwww.facebook.com/AfriDocs, @afri_docs

 

6 August

Sisters in Law | Kim Longinotto, Florence Ayisi | Cameroon | 2005| 104 min

A fascinating, moving and often hilarious look at the work of one small courthouse in

Cameroon where two women determined to change a village are making progress that could change the world.he tough-minded state prosecutor, Vera Ngassa and court president, Beatrice Ntuba are working to help women in their Muslim village find the courage to fight often-difficult cases of abuse, despite pressures from their family and their community to remain silent.

* Audience Award, Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival 2005

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwVl9CkMD4k

 

13 August

Between Rings | Salla Sorri &Jessie Chisi | Zambia | 2014 | 82 min

Esther Phiri has literally had to fight to carve out an independent life on her own terms. In her native Zambia, the seven-time world boxing champion became an icon. In Between Rings we understand why: she is a deeply charismatic woman with the courage of her convictions. And she can knock anybody out! Esther first renounced her education to support her family. But since then she has also renounced the expectations of marriage and family to invest in her meteoric career as a boxer.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pcau6lHn8s

 

20 August

Strike a Rock |Aliki Saragas | South Africa, 2017 | 87 min

A counterpoint to Rehad Desai’s Miners Shot Down, this provides, not just a history of oppression, police violence, sanitised corporate indifference and lies that made Marikana inevitable, but also a view of the rebirth of politics in the shadow of the Lonmin mine. By foregrounding the political career of Primrose Sonti and the activism of Thumake Magwangqana in particular, this creates a strange sense of optimism in the face of a terrible crime, while damning the exploitation and collusion between the mining houses and the ANC. A fascinating document of SA’s long overdue political maturation.

Audience Award, Best Local Film, Encounters Documentary Festival, South Africa 2017

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfL4a2jFr8M

 

27 August

The Witches of Gambaga | Yaba Badoe |Ghana | 2010 | 55 min 

The Witches of Gambaga is the extraordinary story of a community of women condemned to live as witches in Northern Ghana. Painful experience and insight come together to create an intimate portrait of the lives of women ostracised by their communities.

* Winner Best Documentary – Black International Film Festival, 2010 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOTM_W4mNT8

 

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