This January, The Bioscope looks back over some of the most popular independent films screened at the cinema during 2018, replaying one more time films that captured the zeitgeist of the past year, including a host of acclaimed African feature and documentary films.
For lovers of the classics, The Bioscope is also showing two more familiar films to open and close the month, Pan’s Labyrinth and Office Space.
Long listed for the 2018 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Inxeba (The Wound) is a powerful South African film that tells a tale of forbidden love between two counsellors at a Xhosa initiation camp. The film gained notoriety after being branded with an X-rating by the South African Film and Publication Board in early February 2018 (effectively becoming banned from local cinemas), until producers appealed the reclassification the following month.
Five Fingers For Marseilles has all the classic hallmarks of a Western – revenge, cowboys, dastardly sheriffs and outlaws – but is set in a distinctly South African landscape. In the fictional remote town of Marseilles, the apartheid police rule over the township of Railway with impunity and terror. To defend themselves, a group of five teenage self-styled outlaws (the Five Fingers) rise up to challenge the police brutality, resulting in life-altering consequences. Decades later following the end of apartheid, the Five Fingers meet again as the community of Railway faces a sinister new threat.
Directed by human rights lawyer turned filmmaker Shameela Seedat, Whispering Truth to Power follows former South African Public Protector Thuli Madonsela during her final year of office, in the wake of her successful challenge of former President Jacob Zuma’s illegal use of state funds. The story of an outstanding lawyer, mother and woman, Whispering Truth to Power follows Madonsela as she faces her biggest challenge yet – an investigation of the alleged systematic takeover of government by a private family in collaboration with the President.
Nominated for the 2018 Best Animated Film Oscar, Loving Vincent is an artistic masterpiece – the world’s first fully hand-painted animated feature film. Each frame in this incredible film is an oil painting on canvas overlaid on top of shots of live action film. Conceptualised by painter Dorota Kobiela, who has spent considerable time studying Vincent van Gogh’s techniques and body of work, Loving Vincent follows the artist’s dramatic life and revisits the circumstances surrounding his death.
The Audience Choice Award-winner at the 2018 Encounters Documentary Film Festival, The Fun’s Not Over tells the life story of composer, musician and arguably the father of the ‘boerepunk rock’ movement James Phillips, with special appearances and insights from his musical collaborators like Koos Kombuis and Vusi Mahlesela, contemporary trailblazer Afrikaans musicians like Jack Parow and acclaimed journalists and cultural icons including Max du Preez, cartoonist Zapiro and comedian Pieter Dirk Uys.
American filmmaker Daniel McCabe’s This is Congo is a gripping study of the violent struggle between the Congolese national army and the M23 rebel forces. Featuring raw war footage from the frontlines of the conflict, McCabe tells the life stories of civilians and military-men alike.
January 2019 Film schedule
- Thur 10.01 at 20:00 Office Space
- Fri 11.01 at 18:00 and 20:00 Inxeba (The Wound)
- Sat 12.01 at 14:00 and 16:00 Inxeba (The Wound)
- Sat 12.01 at 18:00 and 20:00 Five Fingers for Marseilles
- Sun 13.01 at 13:00 and 15:00 Five Fingers for Marseilles
- Sun 13.01 at 17:00 and 19:00 Inxeba (The Wound)
- Mon 14.01 at 20:00 Whispering Truth to Power
- Tues 15.01 at 18:00 and 20:00 Loving Vincent
- Wed 16.01 at 18:00 The Fun’s Not Over: The James Phillips Story
- Wed 16.01 at 20:00 Loving Vincent
- Thur 17:01 at 18:00 Whispering Truth to Power
- Thur 17.01 at 20:00 The Fun’s Not Over: The James Phillips Story
- Sat 19.01 at 18:00 This is Congo
- Sun 20.01 at 17:00 This is Congo
- Sun 20.01 at 19:00 Pan’s Labyrinth
- Mon 21.01 at 20:00 This is Congo
- Tues 22.01 at 18:00 This is Congo
- Thur 24.01 at 20:00 This is Congo