Friday, September 14, 2012

Otelo Burning

So, I just heard about this film, Otelo Burning, today;



From the Otelo Burning website:

Shot in Durban and directed by Sara Blecher (Surfing Soweto), the film tells the story of a group of township kids who discover the joy of surfing. It's set in 1989, against a backdrop of brewing conflict between two political groups in Lamontville.
When 16-year-old Otelo Buthelezi takes to the water for the first time, it's clear that he was born to surf. But then tragedy strikes. On the day that Nelson Mandela is released from prison, Otelo is forced to choose between surfing success and justice. This is a beautifully made, insightful and entertaining film that captures a turbulent time in the history of South Africa.
I'm one of those terrible people who is sceptical about anything that makes grand claims in terms of 'surfing is freedom' or 'surfing for peace', but considering the historical and political context of this story, it could be really interesting and meaningful. While I find it irritating when it's a 'kid from the wrong side of the tracks come good in suburban/working class Australia' kind of tale, this story is set in a different time, place, culture and context, so I reckon I need to be a bit more open. The director, Sara Blecher, has made some interesting-looking films and documentaries, so it looks as though the subject matter is in good hands.

Anyway, it's around, so it is probably worth checking out! Do let me know if you happen to see it!

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