Mother to Mother (2019)

26 August 2020

Mother to Mother (2019)

Twenty-seven years after American Fulbright Scholar Amy Biehl was brutally murdered in Gugulethu, Cape Town, SAFTA-winning documentarian Sara CF de Gouveia (The Sound of Masks) takes a closer look at South African literary giant Doctor Sindiwe Magona’s powerful novel Mother to Mother, and at a society that has lived, and continues to live, with its story. 

Magona’s fictional lament, one mother to another, gave rise to the acclaimed one-woman stage-play directed by Janice Honeyman and performed internationally by South African singer, actress and playwright Thembi Mtshali, who reprises her performance for the documentary. 

With Magona’s novel now part of the South African school curriculum, the documentary asks today’s youth a pivotal question – has democracy brought meaningful change to their lives? 

Magona also engages scholars on the ongoing tragedy of violence and rage in the country, the conditions in which so many of our youth are raised, and specifically, the killing of Amy Biehl in 1993, asking: “Why did this happen? Why does it still happen?” and most crucially, “What conditions must come into existence for this not to happen?” 

Fresh from Encounters International South African Documentary Festival, the documentary asks these questions as it moves between the students, the play, archive material and the participants in the stage-play.

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