Tuesday, July 13, 2004

SA movies lack Entertainment value

Christo Obeholzer argues that SA film plots lack an entertaining edge.

When will the South African film industry put itself on the international filmmaking map? It’s a question that has been asked many times and a question that will never be answered until our local audiences start watching our films. But, judging by the standard of our local films we won’t be putting anything onto any maps for a very long time.

Over the next few weeks two local films will be released onto the local cinema circuit in an attempt to grow our struggling little industry.

The first is Forgiveness (which had its release two weeks ago), and which forms part of the DV8 feature film initiative. The second is Anant Singh’s first ever isiZulu feature film, Yesterday, directed by Darrell Roodt. Both these films are guaranteed distribution into the local market, which is fantastic, but what good is distribution if no one wants to see them?

Yesterday doesn’t contain any elements that would get the majority of a cinema going audience excited. It does, however, contain elements that would rather make them stay at home. The synopsis reads like a high school maths textbook, and it immediately sounds preachy. It’s too didactic and too concerned in getting a “message” across. And, in my opinion, this is where the majority, if not all of South African post-Apartheid cinema fails.

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