“FILMING THROUGH AFRICAN INTELLECT”
South Africa’s masses have felt the onslaught of war (knowingly or not) the ripples have reached them. Does this make humans warlike by nature? No. History is full of war.
Just like Africa’s full of images of starving children, with their skeletons as front page in foreign media. As lone civilians, it is not believed that we can take on an ideal, your right we cannot. But we can debate a government who has lost theirs.
Appealing to a colonized way of thinking, I can understand why President Mbeki would travel the world for contractual support in Aid of Africa – yet wouldn’t it be wise to seek the support and create a collective ideal among the millions of mass’s that currently occupy South Africa? You can burn a contract… you cannot burn an ideal. A new way of thinking is a responsibility for all; it really depends on how bad you want it. If you’re rights have been violated, if you have been unjustly tried, forcibly removed, been a victim of crime… then our government hasn’t kept their promise. If you still believe that there is beauty to be saved within our boundless part of Africa, then maybe there is hope. It could be that our new Generation would rise with a vision for the future and an understanding of the past. Accept the responsibility of individuality and respect an image of ‘Ubuntu’ – (we are all one)
As Oswaldo Guayasmin said; “We all run the risk of cursing our cultural identity yet ceasing to defend it” Accepting the fact that most current African cinema is a by product of Western capitalization and most of our current South African population express’s philistinism towards the arts to some extent (merely through low media coverage). It should therefore become our duty as artist’s of film to rise up questions and opinions about our current state through documentary, feature and short story media.
I choose to play a part in diversifying our current cultural image internationally through film, thus aiding in our Global identity. If it comes down to using our human rights to the maximum, thus exposing the un-justice and corruption within our society through our films… the question is; would you take that chance? What do you have to gain?
These are merely dreams of a future, for some future has become their responsibility. All but few excuses have been drummed into our film leaders by our government dispelling no moral support or funding. It’s usually one of those ‘jump on the band wagon after it start’s to travel’. What film industry? We have no affirmed system, no consented governmental authorization of any high regard. When it comes to matters of finance in film… yes I love the fact that our future image of Africa (At the expense of a talented South African crew and cast) will have to stop production because their budget is now driving our governmental officials to work or is hanging around their neck.
In order to confront our dehydrated film industry; we need to analyze, intellectualize and summarize all the steps it took to get other International Film corporations off the ground. We need to go back and research where and how Charles Pathé started large scale cinema industrialization or how the Hollywood Monopoly System started and maintained. We can use the fact that Film is still a “ Free Enterprise” and understand that our bases for entanglement - is our linguistic/ religious and educational diversity within Africa. It is immensely vast and alien to the foreign Media.
This could be our key to portraying the image of Africa as something new, something worth fighting for… filming about. Not only must we be producing more fee able work for SA crew and cast, we should be creating Production companies on a mass scale. Thus allowing South Africa to aid in a much needed, African Film Revolution. In order to achieve this we would need to create our own independent:
• Rights for network, cable television screenings
• Subsidiary rights to novelization
• Books about making of film
• Television Spin off’s
• Soundtrack recordings
• Commercially retailed DVD / Video
• Merchandizing Tie-ins(Cell-phones, books, T-shirts, games, toys, comics)
• Contractual agreements, copyright laws
These forms of film should be created under one roof. If we can create an ideal about 1 or 2 Film companies, who produce South African films on a global scale… it will create independent thought about personal dreams for their country through a South Africa they will see on screen.
Yet for now Nationalization is meaningless if the power over distribution lies in foreign control. We need to affirm and cement an equal structure of Production, Distribution and Exhibition of product within South Africa. Create an independent profit – therefore becoming an asset to the government and eventually being responsible for the portrayal of a New South African Ideal.