Documentary at DIFF Highlights Realities of Modern Day SA
A documentary at DIFF, Noma featured a young woman in her mid-twenties, Nomaliphathwe Gwele, also known as Noma. She is a single mother of two, the youngest being semi-paraplegic and blind.
Noma is a backyard ‘shack-dweller’ who rents and shares a make-shift home with four other people. A stark reality of what many South Africans face today.
This documentary, directed by Pablo Pinedo Boveda, follows Noma and highlights the struggle of impoverished living in dire conditions.
Tired of the high cost of rent, the young woman joins a land occupation action movement with other residents to forcefully set up structures and occupy vacant land that is used as a dumping site, thus risking violent eviction.
Noma, with the help of her younger brother and friends, sets up her shack but the Law Enforcement Unit and Anti-Land Invasion Unit swoop and demolish the structure. ‘Where is your court interdict?’, an official demolishing the shack is asked. ‘We don’t need it here, it does not work like that,’ responds the official.
The film also gives insight into the role that police play during violent service delivery protests.
The last eviction sees police using live ammunition against residents which is followed by Noma’s echoing voice in the background: ‘We will resist. Enough is enough.’
The resistance eventually sees the residents permanently occupying the land and Noma moving out of the rented shack to build herself and her sons a ‘real home’.
Boveda says while filming the documentary, he wanted to be ‘a human shield for residents’ and use the media presence to redefine law enforcement repression.
‘Apartheid still remains in some people’s psyche, and through this film I aim to bring deeply and closer to the audience a social situation that could seem very far away for some of them as well as how desperation leads people to commit this type of action.’
The 37th Durban International Film Festival was hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts in UKZN’s College of Humanities. For more information visit www.durbanfilmfestival.co.za Twitter: #DIFF2016 @DIFFest
Karabo Moeti and Diff Film Fest