Lo­cal film­maker gets top award for thought­pro­vok­ing doc­cie

The Witness - - NEWS - NOKUTHULA KHANYILE • nokuthula.khanyile@me­dia24.com

“Peo­ple still get very emo­tional when the sub­ject of the war comes up ... We hope this film will pro­vide the rel­e­vant an­swers and close that painful chap­ter.”

A HEART­WRENCH­ING doc­u­men­tary film, The Scars of Seven Days War, un­cov­ers the truth on the out­break of vi­o­lence in the Greater Eden­dale area.

The film fo­cuses on a week of in­tense po­lit­i­cal con­flict in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg area, which started in a con­fronta­tion be­tween United Demo­cratic Front (UDF) and Inkatha Free­dom Party sup­port­ers.

Prior to its launch next month, the film was recog­nised at the Si­mon Mab­hunu Sa­bela Awards on the week­end.

Film direc­tor Mazwi Ngubane (32), from Wil­low­foutain, re­ceived the Best Doc­u­men­tary Award.

Speak­ing to The Wit­ness, Ngubane said the film fo­cuses on un­cov­er­ing the un­com­fort­able truth about the Seven Days War that took place in March 1990.

“At least 80 peo­ple were killed and 20 000 left home­less as re­sult of the out­break of po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence.

“We sat down with the po­lit­i­cal par­ties in­volved to es­tab­lish how the war started.”

Ngubane said the film also zooms in on fam­i­lies who were di­rectly af­fected by the vi­o­lence.

“We brought in both sides of the UDF and Inkatha to bal­ance the story. We fea­ture David Ntombela and the fam­ily of Harry Gwala. Over­all it is a thought­pro­vok­ing film.”

He said what was ev­i­dent dur­ing the film­ing process was that many peo­ple had not healed.

“Peo­ple still get very emo­tional when the sub­ject of the war comes up. Although the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion (TRC) at­tempted to rec­on­cile peo­ple, oth­ers have not fully healed. We hope this film will pro­vide the rel­e­vant an­swers and close that painful chap­ter.”

Ngubane said the doc­u­men­tary took about 13 months to film.

“It was very dif­fi­cult to trace po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and fam­i­lies that were af­fected. With the as­sis­tance of the late Khaba Mkhize (for­mer ed­i­tor of Echo com­mu­nity news­pa­per), we col­lected all our data and put the film to­gether.

“I felt we owed it to the fam­i­lies of the peo­ple who were caught in the cross­fire,” he said.

Ngubane, who is also an au­thor, said it was his love for sto­ry­telling that in­spired him to do the film. “I am very hon­oured to have re­ceived this award. The recog­ni­tion means that the work we put in doesn’t go un­no­ticed.

“Be­ing able to con­trib­ute to the his­tory of the city is im­mea­sur­able.”

PHOTO: NOKUTHULA KHANYILE

Wil­low­foun­tain film­maker Mazwi Ngubane re­ceived the Best Doc­u­men­tary Award for his film, Scars of Seven Days War, at the Si­mon Mab­hunu Sa­bela Awards on the week­end.

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