Local filmmaker gets top award for thoughtprovoking doccie
“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.”
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.