Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged South Africa

Shirley Adams

Interlacing themes of poverty and perseverance in the Cape Flats area of post-Apartheid South Africa, Oliver Hermanus explores the relationship between a mother, Shirley, and her quadriplegic son, Donovan, as he slips into depression after having been shot in his neighbourhood. Having given up her job to care for her son, and having been abandoned by her husband, Shirley struggles to support Donovan’s mental and physical well-being and at the same time take care of herself.

District 9

In 1982 an alien spacecraft descends into the Earth’s stratosphere and hovers for months over Johannesburg, South Africa. Humans, alternately fearing that the aliens are hostile and hoping that they are harbingers of technological advances, board the ship. They are disappointed to discover that the aliens are neither, being nothing more than incredibly ill and malnourished refugees from a distant planet. Human governments around the world provide aid for the aliens while they bicker over what to do with them.


Tapologo is a full-length documentary shot in Northwest Province, South Africa. Directors Gabriella and Sally Gutierrez Dewar chronicle a handful of the 20,000 displaced African refugees in a squatter camp called Freedom Park. Here we are exposed to life and death in a place where fifty percent of the women are infected with HIV. The film is divided into two parts. Part one opens inside the shack of an emaciated woman receiving care from two local nurses.

Art + Revolution: The Life and Death of Thami Mnyele, South African Artist

It should be of no surprise that some of the most peaceful and timid visionaries have met violent deaths. It seems that the power with which they create, forge, or even love is equal to that which opposes their very existence.

When She Was White: The True Story of a Family Divided By Race

It would be hard to find a story more inherently dramatic than that of Sandra Laing, one that can show in a more complete and complex manner the ramifications of South Africa’s apartheid regime. With coloring distinctly different from that of her white family, Sandra Laing was expelled from her white school in 1965 and reclassified as “coloured” (of mixed-race descent), then, after her family engaged in legal battle, was made ‘white” once again; in the throes of this conflict, at the age of fifteen, Laing fell in love and ran away with a black man, with whom she had several children.