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Springbok Cinema Review: Homeward Bound With THE BOERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Richard Finn Gregory's The Boers At The End Of The World (in its native Afrikaans: Boere Op Die Aardsdrempel) was the finest South African documentary of 2015, and easily made my Springbok Cinema list of the country's best work. Following a...

Toronto 2016 Review: MESSAGE FROM THE KING Mixes Old School And Global Contemporary Masculinity Into Neo-Noir

Arriving fresh into LAX with only the clothes on his back, some cash in his pocket and a South African passport, Jacob King is given the full interrogation by the customs officials, "Are you working? Are you staying with family?...

Blu-ray Review: Aussie Classic ROAD GAMES Arrives In HD

Fans of Mark Hartley's groudbreaking documentary Not Quite Hollywood will be very familiar with Road Games. This Australian exploitation classic, directed by Richard Franklin, features in that documentary in a big way, largely because of the fact it was one...

Review: FYNBOS, Brilliantly Anti-Cathartic Cinema

A young white woman in high heels walks down a street in a black working-class neighborhood. Though clearly on edge, she walks with a purpose. She pauses at a row of trash cans. Clothes billow in the wind, threaded on...

Review: I AM THALENTE Skates With Soul

We all know the sound. That clack-scrape-whoosh of a skateboard on the sidewalk. For many of us it is as close to the sport as we get. When we hear that sound most of us move out of the way...

Springbok Cinema Review: THE ACTOR Transcends Its Existential Demons

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth."  - Oscar WildeThe Actor made my Springbok Cinema list for 2015, putting it among the very best South African...

Toronto 2015 Review: BEASTS OF NO NATION Spills Blood On A Large Canvas

A big screen movie made by streaming media behemoth Netflix, for click and view streaming, Cary Fukunaga's beautifully brutal war story, Beasts of No Nation feels too large and too difficult a watch to warrant a casual click on a...

Toronto 2015 Review: THE ENDLESS RIVER, A Gorgeously Rendered But Emotionally Distant Portrait Of Loss

South African festival darling Oliver Hermanus continues his remarkable run of international acclaim with his third effort, The Endless River. Selected in competition in Venice before coming here to Toronto Hermanus delivers a thematically challenging and gorgeously rendered yet emotionally...

Review: WE COME AS FRIENDS, Shadows Of Colonial Past Still Loom Over South Sudan

Hubert Sauper, a Paris based filmmaker known for his searing eco-disaster exposé in Tanzania, Darwin's Nightmare (2005), continues to document the African continent in his new documentary, We Come As Friends. This time, he sheds light on the post-referendum era...

Durban 2015 Review: THE SHORE BREAK Tries To Stem The Tide, But Only Time Will Tell

The 36th Durban International Film Festival in South Africa has wrapped its annual showcase of international film, with this year's menu providing distinctly more African fare under the new directorship of Pedro Pimenta.  South African documentary The Shore Break is...

Fantasia 2015 Review: CRUMBS Finds Ethiopia In Tarkovsky's Zone

Ethiopian post-apocalypse dystopian fairy tale Crumbs has a decaying handsomeness to match its unique vision. It has a confident and accomplished auteur unwillingness for either pandering or traditionally pleasing its audience, while simultaneously offering an archetypal hero-journey tale. If features an optimistic message...

LA Film Fest Review: I AM THALENTE, Skating On Passion, Finding Purpose

We all know the sound. That clack-scrape-whoosh of a skateboard on the sidewalk. For many of us it is as close to the sport as we get. When we hear that sound some of us move out of the way...

Sundance 2015 Review: THINGS OF THE AIMLESS WANDERER, A World-Class Stunner

To be absolutely mesmerized by a film, I mean totally transfixed, is a rare happening in cinema, but should be the norm, right? Rwandan director Kivu Ruhorahoza's Things Of The Aimless Wanderer is just such a film. Spectacular and ambitious...

Review: TIMBUKTU, Dreamy, Harrowing, And Rewarding

It's to the credit of Malian (by-way-of Mauritania) director Abderrahmane Sissako that he manages at times to make even the most horrifying of human behaviour still, in some ways, darkly funny. Timbuktu is a story as desiccated as the landscape...

Review: Swiss Epic NORTHMEN - A VIKING SAGA Looks Like Hollywood Fare

Assessing the merits of Claudio Fäh's Viking odyssey is a tricky task because of what it represents in the panorama of Swiss genre films. With an international cast, and production set in South Africa, Northmen - A Viking Saga is...

Review: FAR FROM MEN, A Great Viggo Mortensen Western

(How can you be Far From Men when Viggo is around?) As a preview for the upcoming International Film Festival Rotterdam next month, loyal visitors were allowed to see one of the films already: David Oelhoffen's Algeria-based western Far From...

Review: DEATH METAL ANGOLA Rocks Our World

Angola is the very definition of a war-torn African nation. The country endured almost constant war for the forty years prior to 2002. A lasting peace accord was finally reached, but four decades of violence have decimated Angola's cultural legacy,...

AFRIFF 2014 Review: OJUJU Is A Promising Effort From An Obvious Talent

Winner of the Best Nigerian Film at the just completed Africa International Film Festival in Calabar - a prize it won over vastly higher budgeted major players from within the established Nigerian industry - CJ 'Fiery' Obasi's Ojuju is an...

AFRIFF 2014 Review: COZ OV MONI 2 Is A Ridiculously Good Time

Several days on from screening Ghanaian musical duo FOKN Bois' Coz Ov Moni 2: Fokn Revenge - a film they bill as "the world's second first pidgen musical" - I am left with one certainty and one question. The certainty?...

Cairo 2014 Review: THE CHALLAT OF TUNIS, Brilliant And Disturbing Satire

The words 'satire' and 'mockumentary', when referring to films, might automatically be thought to reference humour. But there is no humour, except very dark, in director Kaouther Ben Hania's brilliant The Challat of Tunis. It is a searing portrait of...