Showmax recently added a slew of local content, including Rehad Desai’s documentary,Everything Must Fall. Desai is also known for the Marikana documentary, Miners Shot Down, as well as The Giant is Falling.
The Giant is Falling was initially released in 2016, ahead of the local elections. But with the upcoming 2019 elections set for 8 May, the documentary is making its way to South Africans’ TV screens again.
Let’s see what is on the lineup this month.
Everything Must Fall
The Fees Must Fall protest movement gained traction in 2015 when students protested over the high cost of education. Everything Must Fall takes an unflinching look at the movement.
The story is told by four student leaders at Wits University and their Vice Chancellor, Adam Habib, a left-wing, former anti-apartheid student activist. When Habib’s efforts to contain the protest fail, he brings 1 000 police onto campus, with dire consequences for the young leaders.
Everything Must Fall is set to be one of the sic productions representing South Africa at INPUT in Bangkok next month. In addition, the documentary won the Vaclav Havel Award, a SAFTA for Best Documentary & Documentary Director, and an award for Best South African Documentary at the 2018 Cape Town International Film Market and Festival.
High Fantasy follows four young friends on a camping trip in the Northern Cape who wake up to discover they’ve all swapped body. If that isn’t reason enough to watch it, allow us to point out that the High Fantasy was screened at film festivals in Berlin and Toronto.
Furthermore, setting a body-swap satire in South Africa raises a host of intersectional identity politics issues, so the film will give you lots to talk about…
It was directed by Jenna Bass, also known for The Love The One You Love, which won Best Direction at the Durban International Film Festival five years ago.
After her father’s sudden death, Gideonette de la Rey descends into darkness as she realises that she’s the only one left with a cursed family name.
With the help of her new friend Bhubesi and his make-shift moonship, she’ll have to find the inner strength to face her fears in order to break the curse. The kiddos will enjoy this one too.
Meerkat Maantuig is the second feature film from Hanneke Schutte, a winner of the 2013 Jameson First Shot competition. She went on to direct the short film, Saving Norman, starring Willem Dafoe.
Lockdown Season 4
This hit Mzansi Magic drama is set in Thabazimbi, a fictional high-security prison for women. The type of place where power and survival mean everything. Season 4 picks up three months after the riot.
Deborah has clawed herself back to the top as governor of the prison. Tyson is now in power, with access to more contraband than the prison has ever seen.
Lockdown received numerous SAFTAs – Best SA Drama, and Best Wardrobe, Hair and Make in 2019, as well as Best Scripting, Drama in 2018. In addition, Dawn Thandeka King won the Best Actress award for her portrayal of Ma-Z.
Lorcia Cooper won Best Supporting Actress as Tyson. The cast also features SAFTA-winners, such as like Zola Nombona and Nthati Moshesh and FESPACO winner Pamela Nomvete. Truly a remarklable ensemble.
Isithembiso Season 3
Isithembiso follows the lives of young students in Johannesburg, as their lives intertwine with some very dangerous people. It took home four SAFTA awards this year, making it most awarded soap opera for 2019.
The soapie was created by Angus Gibson, the legendary South African director who also brought us Mandela, Son Africa, Father Of A Nation, as well as 28UP: South Africa, Yizo Yizo, and Shuga.
Hamilton Dlamini, who stole the show in Five Fingers To Marseilles as Sepoko, won his second SAFTA for Isithembiso as the power-hungry Banzi ‘The Wolf of Braamfontein’ Kunene.
The Fun’s Not Over
The Fun’s Not Over tells a little known and now almost forgotten part of South African cultural history that emerged from white alternative protest music during the 1980s and 1990s.
It tells James Phillips’ story, also referred to as the voice and conscience of a generation of white South Africans. Phillips passed away in July 1995 at the age of 36.
If that’s not reason enough, just give the soundtrack a chance. It includes Hou My Vas Korporaal, which became an anthem of the End Conscription Campaign. It also helped spawn alternative Afrikaans rock music and the Voëlvry movement.
In an effort to rescue her declining ratings, a paraplegic talk show host – portrayed by SAFTA winner Antoinette Louw from Die Laaste Tango – interviews a self-proclaimed healer who claims he can make her walk again on live TV.
The healer is portrayed by Deon Lotz, also a SAFTA winner and known for Skoonheid. In addition, Axis Mundi is co-written and co-directed by Matthew Jankes and Sean Steinberg.
Jankes also director the Vimeo Staff Pick and Short of the Week Umkhungo. Steinberg is one of the writers responsible for the high acclaimed The Girl From St Agnes.