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Wednesday, March 08, 2006 

Apparently, not...!!!

The Slipstream has had no posts for a while, and my apologies to those who come here from time to time, expecting something to read. [** Warning – What follows here is a rant (outburst), and should be read in that context. I tend stay away from political/racial issues on my blog, and this post was written out of frustration and helplessness. Aren’t I lucky to have a blog where I can vent? **] Tsotsi – The South African film that won the Academy Award for the best Foreign Film at the Oscars will not be shown in “white” South African malls. That is the answer I got when I went to a mall in the East Rand and enquired whether the movie is playing there. I was told that I should be able to view the movie at one of Johannesburg’s more progressive malls? WTF! What was I doing in the East Rand, you ask? Well, I had a late afternoon meeting with a client on the East Rand, and because of the heavy traffic on the way back, I elected to go to the movies thereby missing the heavy evening traffic on the N3 north. Thinking back, sitting in the traffic would have been a much better idea. Now, being told 12 years after Apartheid was abolished and South Africa became a democracy, that we still had ”white” malls, not only astounded me, but filled me with deep sadness. I reckon it is not only an insult to all South Africans, but I find it offending that an entertainment company basically chose to take away the right of white South Africans living on the East Rand to decide for themselves whether this award winning South African film is worth watching. Looking around at the people in the mall, I could see a mixture of all races… Black, White, Coloured, Indian and Asian. So I came to the only logical conclusion I could reach. The Mall is not white, only the section that belonged to Ster Kinekor East Rand Mall is. I also came to the conclusion that it was all about the bottom line and which films would make more money at the box office. Whether it had any artistic or cultural value had no role to play in this scenario. But rather than admitting that, they chose by their action to label the residents of the East Rand as racist and took away their choice. If they had told me the “truth”, I would have I would have been more inclined to see their point. In order to satisfy my curiosity, and to be able to their decision in its proper context, I asked whether Brokeback Mountain and TransAmerica will be showing there. I was told it would be. Really? So the staunch, yet racist and prejudiced “white”Afrikaner community of the East Rand is wiling to see movies dealing with homosexuality and transgender issues (No offence meant to any of my readers. I am merely trying to illustrate the point), yet cannot deal with a South African movie because it is deemed too black? Yeah, I can totally see Oom Hendrik and Tant Sarie taking their whole family to see two cowboys making out on the big screen or watching a Felicity Huffman play a man who wants to be a woman. Can it get any more “white Afrikaner” than that? Strangely enough, they have no problem with showing black American movies featuring black American actors. I mean is black OK, just as long as they are not South African? Is that what you are telling me, Ster Kinekor? I don’t know where I am going with this post or what I am to achieve with it. I honestly believed that we had come a long way since 1994. Perhaps, I am going off the deep-end with my little diatribe? It does however seem to me that some of the basic principles of what is a democracy is, have been violated by Ster Kinekor. The right of the people to choose and the right to no censorship. Perhaps Tsotsi would not have drawn big crowds and packed theatres on the East Rand. They do however have 8/9 theatres in the complex – would it be too much if one of the smaller theatres screened Tsotsi for one weekend, perhaps? It won the Oscar after all! It is strange that a film like, Tsotsi – written and directed by white South Africans would receive international acclaim in countries like the USA, UK and in Europe, but back home, this uniquely South African story depicting a slice of life in South Africa, does not receive the recognition it deserves. Charlize Theron is by her own admission a farm girl from the notorious Oos-Rand. I wonder what she would day? Enlighten Me!! Puhlease...

I really would love to go see that movie, it looks good and deliciously contraversial. and i heard its so not cliched with the rich white and poor black SA movie genre. I suppose i'll have to check it out for myself. Have u had a chance to see broke back mountain? Thats a strongly recomonded!

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