Sunday Tribune

‘Kalushi’ ro­man­ti­cises MK’S Mahlangu

- SIPHELELE BUTHELEZI Entertainment · Movies

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.”

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