New SA films all about the love

CityPress - - Trending - Charl.blig­naut@city­press.co.za

There’s been a bit of a sea change in the kind of sto­ries we are telling on the big screen. It seems our film mak­ers are fall­ing in (and out of ) love.

It wasn’t that long ago that South African cin­ema was char­ac­terised by sto­ries of Aids, poverty and po­lit­i­cal strife. It was down­right de­press­ing, though nec­es­sary. Af­ter that, it was Nel­son Man­dela – a whole genre in and of it­self. Then came the re­lent­less gang­ster flicks, with a par­tic­u­lar fetish for the Cape Flats, sto­ries too of­ten told by out­siders with a kind of glib voyeurism.

But now a new wave of film mak­ers seem to be say­ing the South African story is more tex­tured, that love and re­la­tion­ships be­long in the spotlight as much as pol­i­tics – and that love po­lit­i­cal – but more im­por­tantly that the African story needs to be more holis­tic and nu­anced. It’s time to let a lit­tle joy in.

Well, that and the fact that we are fix­ated on genre films as a way of try­ing to make some box of­fice re­turns.

Of course, the Afrikaans mar­ket has been crank­ing out rom­coms and mu­si­cal ro­mances for some time – and good money was be­ing made at first. But the next phase of the Afrikaans story seems to be way darker, with child abuse, farm mur­ders and sus­pense on the cards. We know of only one Afrikaans rom­com – Trou­voete (Wed­ding Feet) – ex­pect­ing a re­lease in the next six months.

Of the of­fer­ing of love sto­ries and ro­mances com­ing to our screens in the next while, #Trend­ing has picked our most an­tic­i­pated four.

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