Happy Friday the 13th.
The moon is waning Gibbous at 80%. chance of cloudiness.
And once again i am afforded the privilege of celebrating all our birthdays at once. Tonight we’ll dip a toe into our South African sci-fi int’l horror film list from the teams of Blomkamp, Neill (South African |Canadian). This time around we’ll look less at the director himself–who is only one element of the films–and moreso at the topics or overarching themes:
District 9 (2009)
Sometimes we need the distance of “Fiction” to even grasp at what reality is. Rather than watching 28 days later and Train to Busan (which is what i want to watch given the virus and what we can argue later are the best zombie films but yerr kids have enough anxiety without me adding to it so) instead we’ll look at equally systemic issues related to the Anti-Apartheid Movement…
totally less stressful of a topic…
And one that i know so little about that I must warn you that in diving into these films I am not trying to portray myself as an expert or even confidently versed about South African film, culture, politics, past or current realities.
What i am trying to do is show curious artists-activists how I begin to familiarize myself with a topic, a place, a language before being introduced in person. More simply put–if I had the chance to visit South Africa or speak to South Africans abroad, my preparation for that meeting would be long and complex but it would begin with dancing joyfully at the chance, watching films, and finding out who the translator will be.
As a N. American woman virtually exploring another continent’s art, i come to this research with the utmost humility, and have few goals besides simply demonstrating how i start with nothing and try to make my way towards “understanding”. Yer research|praxis is probably different and, honestly, that’s likely a good thing. There are many appropriate sources for learning Truths of South Africa but I am not one of them. Also, Believe that placing ‘post’ in front of Apartied doesn’t mean that I think that the hate, the rage, and the weaknesses of our present tense aren’t as alive and well in policy or daily interactions as is our love and compassion but
that love and rage are alive is a reason to address them directly.
To move towards understanding the reality that these film crews were trying to portray in fiction we need to understand a little bit more about South Africa then and now. Lettuce begin with their success by hearing a man who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work relieving the suffering of many, many people and will continue to do so far past his lifetime– We can start with his speech “Reconciling Love” given generously by our mentor of spirituality Archbishop Desmond Tutu to whom we forever owe our gratitude, “I need other human beings to help me to be human…I need you in all of your giftedness, with all of your weakness, I need you so I can be I can be me in all of my giftedness and my weakness.” (25ish)
Normally i would start with District 9 as i like to see how the art progresses towards it’s most recent iteration but this time around we’ll start with Chappie. It’s the most recent it is likely the most sophisticated attempt at what these films are trying to portray about Post-Apartied / Apartied South Africa. These films are in English. I’ve never been to South Africa I don’t know if that’s normal or not, but it seems strange to me.
I’ll write about the film in another post but to conclude this brief intro to this quarters’ segment–
This whfs beverage of choice is Water
“Water: seriously, get the funk out”
water is the best solvent for your COVID-19 or whatever else is ailing ya.
If you aren’t sick, or recovering, are above 21 years of age, have eaten at least one full meal, and are hydrated
Join a friend at Bruz for a Gargoyle Dubbel
“Light plum, grape and dried fruit esters add complexity. It finishes with a spicy smooth mouthfeel. abv 7.9% abv 4 oz 2.25.
Please please please drink responsibly by telling your friend your limit and having them stick to it. Mine is 4. Don’t drive yourself home, and drink water before you go to sleep.
Thanks for reading, listening, and being so generous.
Raise hell peacefully while we hibernate thru this virus together,
Anne E. Arkhane