chapter  8
18 Pages

Chimes of freedom: cinema against apartheid

The cutting edge of South African cinema in the 1970s and 1980s was in filmmaking that broke the boundaries of apartheid conventions, when filmmakers put themselves on the line to make critical statements against apartheid. In this chapter, we will first examine some of the critical voices that emerged in the 1960s through the 1970s, a period of severe repression, where protest had been quashed and political organizations forced underground. Literary works provided ready material for producing South African stories on film. Second, we will examine both documentary and fiction films that emerged in the 1980s, the decade when resistance against apartheid reached unprecedented levels, despite the state’s brute force and the States of Emergency imposed from 1985. The interlocking of organizations and groups against apartheid, through the MDM, brought into alliance trade unions, as well as youth, cultural and political organizations. As the decade moved towards the 1990s the vision of a ‘postapartheid’ democratic society was becoming a reality.