‘Kalushi’ romanticises MK’S Mahlangu
THE name of freedom fighter Solomon “Kalushi” Mahlangu has been belted out passionately in song in the corridors of many universities during the #Feesmustfall protests.
With the release of the movie Kalushi, more young South Africans will now learn about the man behind the protest anthem and celebrated as an umkhonto we Sizwe guerilla.
The movie is based on his young life, which was cut short when he was convicted of murder and hanged by the apartheid state in 1979. The movie was released on big screens around the country on Friday.
A Sunday Tribune team watched the film at Musgrave Centre on Friday at 5.30pm, but there was not much fanfare at that viewing slot.
There were a mere 12 people at the screening of Kalushi, among them ANCYL KZN secretary Thanduxolo Sabela.
The poor attendance was surprising as the movie had been well marketed, had received promising social media traction and been widely reported on in the media.
My heart broke as I watched Mahlangu being severely beaten by apartheid police and forced to the ground as a policeman urinated on his head. It made me feel grateful for all the sacrifices made for this democracy we live in.
Political analyst Xolani Dube said the film failed to portray Mahlangu’s real life and the producers should have done more research.
“The movie does not portray the true political life of Solomon, but I understand that producers probably had another angle and never wanted to go big on politics,” said Dube.
“Whoever decides to narrate a particular individual must not romanticise a character or create a plastic hero,” said Dube.
But film critic Sihle Mthembu said the movie placed Mahlangu within the context of community and family. “The director is primarily responsible to himself and his artistic vision.
“(Mahlangu) is not a lone wolf and I feel like that has been lost in his mythology over the years, so Kalushi is important in that way.”