Mapantsula

Released in 1988, Mapantsula was filmed in Soweto (South Africa) and tells the story of Panic, a petty gangster who spends his days stealing from unsuspecting Whites and brawling with rivals in Black bars, as well as a little police informing on the side. Whilst he is busy doing his thing, everyone else in Soweto are struggling during tough times, as rent costs are getting higher and the police lock and more and more innocent people. Inevitably, Panic is caught up in the growing anti-apartheid struggle, having to choose between individual gain, and a united stand against the system. This film gives you an inside look into what it was like during this period in Soweto, and also gives you a glimpse of what it was like to be a struggling Black South African in a world controlled by uncaring Whites. What amazes me with this film, is how accurately it captures what Soweto is like (sadly in both past and present), and also the relationship between the lower class Blacks and the upper class Whites. This film gives you a great insight into the township life, and is a great little history lesson into the Apartheid fight. Despite its age, this film is extremely powerful and is sadly still relevant today. One of my favourite films of the festival thus far.

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