Zulu Love Letter
In Ramadan Suleyman's ZULU LOVE LETTER, Thandeka's (Pamela Nomvete Marimbe) life is severely altered when she and her friend Mike are arrested after witnessing the murder of a young female activist: Mike, a photographer, is also killed, and Thandeka, pregnant at the time, is beaten so badly that her daughter is born deaf and mute. Years later, Thandeka is a journalist with writer's block who can't shake her personal demons, nor the gnawing sense of guilt that alienates her from her family.
Zulu Love Letter presents the desperate and emotional journey of two mothers searching for their daughters. Tormented by the haunting images and unrelenting grief of the past, single mother and journalist, Thandi has difficulty communicating with her estranged daughter, Mangi.
Thirteen year old Mangi is deaf and dumb due to the beating that pregnant Thandi received at the same time that her friends, Mike and Dineo, were murdered by an Apartheid Squad. Mike and Dineo's fate pursues her, especially when Dineo's mother appears, requesting that Thandi testify before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
This emotionally engrossing, yet refreshing, visual gift explores the final agony of healing from the intimate perspective of women and mothers.
About the Director
Ramadan Suleman graduated from the Center of Research and Training in African Theater in 1981. Besides directing several plays, he helped to found the first black theater in South Africa, the Dhlomo Theater.
He attended the first Direct Theater Workshop in Johannesburg and studied in Paris. He then directed two documentaries, Sekouba (1984) and Ezikhumbeni (1985). In 1986 he participated on the shoot of Souleymane Cissé's Yeleen.
In 1988 he graduated from the London International Film School and directed Raging Walls, followed by The Devil's Children (1989). He was assistant director on Souleyman Cissé's Waati. Fools is his first feature film. His latest offering is Zulu Love Letter, part of the feature film competition strand at the Cape Town World Cinema Festival (12-20 November 2004).
Starring: Pamela Nomvete Marimbe, Mpumi Malatsi, Sophie Mgelna, Kurt Egelhof, Connie Mfuku