Ok, if you didn’t know before i am an aspiring film maker in a closet…not anymore cause i just announced it. Anyway though I still am making countless excuses about why i am not producing anything now, I know that I have to do it somehow. I was very relaxed until the past two years when a film about Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom came out.
My heart skipped with jealousy because i would’ve loved to be the one to snatch the story and tell it before anyone could and i had no one to blame but myself. But then it got worse when i found out that the film was produced by an international producer (David M. Thompson UK film producer) who basically had zero experience of being a South African! Let’s be honest, no matter how good you are in reading or understanding other people’s situations you can never really get it if you are not part of that community.
I was even more drowning with disappointment when i watched it and realised most of the main characters were international. And our very much talented actors were in the background as the ‘supporting cast’! South Africa, with so much talent, so much history and countless film producers who can tell our stories the way we want in our own languages, (not diluted Xhosa with an American/British accent see http://http://www.mandelamovie.co.za/) what in the face of the earth happened?
We bring a tall black actor (Idris Elba) who is great but sucked in the film to play our President! How degrading is that??? I mean we had Mandla Mandela who looks more like his grandfather who could’ve played the role way better with direct experience of Madiba and his personality, but we use Idris Elba (No offence Idris) ? Really?
How did we let the most important story of our history be taken by another country, told by international ‘outsiders’ when we are here. And the worst part we watch it and support it more as if we do not know the actual story. I have never been so disappointed in the local film industry and myself as an aspiring filmmaker; that we can really let the authenticity of our history be diluted by other countries.
Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against international support. They are good and i love their stories. Infact they are quite clever to even notice an opportunity about a country that is a thousand miles away from them. That says more about us than it does about them. It says we are lazy, we do not belive in ourselves so much that we trust other countries to tell our own stories.
Now just when i was trying to heal that wound i hear that Beyonce might want to tell a story about our own Sarah Baartman and we are still sitting waiting for her to do that so that we can flock to the cinemas and watch the misrepresentation of the story we grew up being told about. Well atleast there is a lot of negative response about that as indicated on http://hollywoodlife.com/2016/01/07/beyonce-sarah-baartman-movie-role-saartjie-south-africa/. I really hope a South African sees an opportunity here and grabs it!
I think we are very much still asleep. If we do not wake up we will keep paying other countries for our own stories instead of capitalising on them to develop our industry. To all aspiring film makers like me and current film makers…can we please start telling our stories and stop letting first world countries define who we are and where we come from? It starts with you and me, let’s do this!
You welcome, (ChristalClearOpinion) Christina 😘http://http://hollywoodlife.com/2016/01/07/beyonce-sarah-baartman-movie-role-saartjie-south-africa/