After leaving her Pondoland village 11 years ago, Zimkhita Kweza revisits her past and questions a cultural practice that has shaped her identity. She is now a feminist with new ideologies and questions about the isiXhosa practice of virginity testing. On a journey seeking for answers she meets different people and leaders in the community who face her provocative questions.
Our roots tell us who we are meant to be, our routes in life show us where we have been and who we are. In this personal self-reflective documentary Thandiwe Wiltshire shares her life with us. Not only as a black child raised by white parents, but as a young woman who makes us introspect on ‘what is Black’, and Blackness in relation to her family dynamics. Adopted at the age of three months, all she has known is the life created for her by the Wiltshire family; but with an identity entirely her own and one which she fought hard to create.
Writing a letter is a unique kind of intimacy. It takes care, time and thought. ‘dear friend’ is a film that draws from the contemplative patience of letter writing to share the story, of many women, rarely told. The letter greets the viewer with an abrupt and fierce jerk into the memories of the two survivors of intimate partner violence. You are invited into the intimate psychology of two women and into the fragmented, visceral, dark and shadowed reality of intimate partner violence in same-sex relationships. It is a glimpse into what the film unravels through light and shadow: the survivor’s journey of denial, acknowledgement and determination to leave. Through their voices we can hear and imagine and also acknowledge, as members of our societies, how we have failed to see that their story is a true one. The film leaves no room for “women cannot be violent”, nor for ignoring the very real truth of the survivors. ‘dear friend’ demands you to admit to yourself all the things you may have chosen to be blind to and to see past the darkness and the shadowed veil of silence shrouding this issue. It casts light and commands: even if you choose not to see, you will hear these stories.
Rhodes JMS TV4 student Catherine White produced a video story about a group of surfers in Jeffrey's Bay who have started a food collection project, collecting R100 000 just in the first week. It is a story about human kindness, a sense of ubuntu amongst a community in the Eastern Cape that seeks to help one another during a global coronavirus pandemic with unintended consequences which includes leaving communities cut off from the rest of the world and feeling hungry.
Catherine worked on her own, producing the entire story on a JMS DSLR camera with Smartlav microphone. The story was broadcasted on SABC2 current affairs show Fokus on Wednesday 29 April 2020.