Manenberg is a coming-of-age story about two young mixed-race men struggling to make sense of life in the rubble of a post-apartheid South African township. A suburb outside Cape Town, Manenberg was built under the apartheid regime to house ‘coloured’ (mixed-race) families on low incomes. Today it is a ghetto, worn-down and overpopulated, with enormous social problems. The odds of becoming a gangster outweigh the chances of creating something new in the ruins of the past. But it is also a place with strong ties between the inhabitants of the claustrophobic houses. Based on five years of anthropological research in the area, the film invites the audience to look behind the headlines and share the feelings and motivations of Warren, Fazline and their families. The slow camera beautifully captures expressions on their faces that tell as much about themselves and their situations as any words. It is a poignant, closely observed film about coming of age within difficult and deprived surroundings, about families and conflicts, about everyday life and dreams of the future.
Following the screening, Freya Billington (Filmmaking Programme Leader at UWE) will chair a discussion on observational documentary-making with Michael Jenkins of 8th Sense Media and Alastair Cole, director of Colours of the Alphabet.
Director: Christian Vium, Karen Waltorp
Denmark/South Africa, 2010, 58 mins, English with some subtitles, 18
£6.50 full / £4.50 concessions