It’s 1992 and Milisuthando is enjoying her sheltered childhood in “The Republic of Transkei,” a semi-independent homeland “state” inside apartheid South Africa where even though apartheid is raging 100 km away, she has no idea of the impending racial calamity beyond her hometown. When Transkei is suddenly dissolved at the end of apartheid, 8-year-old Milisuthando becomes a member of the first generation of black kids to attend “Whites Only Model C” schools in South Africa. Through her probing, often naive journey with a cast of contrary characters, we revisit the old interiors of the “New South Africa,” exploring how racial prejudice and interracial bonding played out in the everyday. And why today, South Africa seems to be making a U-Turn towards its ugly racial past.
About The Team
Milisuthando Bongela (Writer & Director) Milisuthando Bongela is an award winning writer, blogger and editor whose work pivots around the subject of the post-apartheid condition from the perspective of black middle class South Africans and women. She has written extensively about the intersections of race, class and gender in South Africa for publications like the Mail and Guardian, City Press, W Magazine, Dazed and Confused, Aperture Magazine, Elle and Colours, and has worked across the arts in the fields of fashion, music, art, publishing and cultural activism. For three years she edited the Arts and Culture section of the Mail & Guardian and is the co-creator of Umoya: On African Spirituality, a podcast that seeks to demystify African Spirituality in the 21st Century. She is currently exploring the post-apartheid condition in South African society, focusing on the psychological effects of racism on Model C educated black South Africans through her first film, a feature documentary titled Milisuthando.
Marion Isaacs (Producer) Marion Isaacs is a producer, curator, editor, writer and researcher with a love of storytelling, which she has explored through her work in documentary film and museum curation — and increasingly in VR and radio/podcasting. Her varied career has afforded her a sustained focus on questions of identity, race and gender, and the cultural, historical, political and often eccentric dimensions of South African life in a radically global context. Her film repertoire includes the documentary series Mandela and Me (2012) and They Sacrificed for Our Freedom (2014). Her first feature-length documentary, The President Needs More Time (due for release in 2020) is directed by Oliver Hermanus, and explores the fatal era of AIDS denialism in South Africa. She is currently hard at work on her second documentary feature, Milisuthando, with director Milisuthando Bongela. Marion holds a Masters degree in African Studies from Oxford University and she’s a 2019 Sundance Institute Producers Summit alumna.
Hankyeol Lee (Cinematographer & Editor) Hankyeol Lee is a filmmaker and photographer who is fascinated by topics of language and fractured identity. She has worked as a director, cinematographer and editor (to name a few) and believes very strongly in collaboration and skillshare. Her filmography includes Bror, a short documentary she directed about two 80-year old brothers living together in the idyllic town of Porkkala, Finland. She was the cinematographer and editor of I Want To See For Myself, a short documentary about the legacy of Tennis hero, Arthur Ashe, and the tennis centre he erected in Soweto, South Africa. She is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa), and has also lectured cinematography at the Wits School of Film and TV.
Milisuthando is a Cinereach grantee.