Berlin-Premiere of John Kani’s feature film „Nothing but the Truth“

On Thursday, 19 August 2010 at 8 p.m., AfricAvenir will present the Berlin-Premiere of John Kani’s award winning feature film Nothing but the Truth (OmEngU) at Hackesche Höfe Kino. Kani investigates the complex dynamics between political exiles and those who remained in South Africa during the apartheid years. The screening will be followed by a discussion with South African film maker Thabi Thindi and a small reception.

Sipho Makhaya, a skilled 63-year-old librarian denied promotion and who believes that post-apartheid freedom’s dividends have not been realized yet, prepares for the return of the ashes of his brother Themba, recently deceased while in exile in London after gaining a reputation as a hero of the anti-apartheid movement. What should be a dignified funeral soon turns into something altogether different as dark secrets from the past re-surface.
An impassioned and compelling debut feature film from award winning South African actor and writer John Kani. This gripping story is a forthright indictment on the Truth and Reconciliation process in post-Apartheid South Africa, yet also serves as a poignant memoir of a fractured family trying to come to terms with the past and present. (African Film Library)

“A deeply felt portrait that delicately weaves the extraordinary and the ordinary in its characters‘ lives.” – New York Times

Dr. John Kani is known as a pioneer of theatre in South Africa and is one of the most important actors, playwright and director in the country. He is also a political activist and has been Former President Nelson Mandela’s advisor in charge of Arts and Culture in South Africa. Born in South Africa in 1943 and having grown up a township near Port Elizabeth, Dr. Kani dreamed of becoming a lawyer. But after his brother was sent to Robben Island as a political prisoner, Kani’s father feared losing another son, and would not allow him to attend University. His determination to succeed eventually led him to the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. It is there that Kani met celebrated playwright and novelist Athol Fugard. Along with other artists, the two collaborated on Master Harold…and the Boys; Sizwe Banzi is Dead and The Island, for which Kani won a Tony award for Best Actor in 1975. Days after receiving his Tony Award, the South African government detained Kani without charge for 23 days. Several years later, Kani starred in a production of Miss Julie at Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre. But moments after he gave his white co-star a kiss, half of the audience stood up and walked out. As if all of this wasn’t enough, Kani was later stabbed 11 times. Nothing but the Truth marks Kani’s debut as a director.

Awards n

  • 2009: Fespaco – Silver Stallion Award & Inaugural Ousmane Sembène Award for Peace
  • 2009: Milan International film festival – Best African film
  • 2009: Milan International film festival – Catholic Church peace prize
  • 2009: Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) – Best film; Best actor
  • 2009: Yaounde film festival – Best Film

Thabo Thindi is a South African filmmaker and the founder of the online TV, an online broadcast network which develops, produces and documents African content in europe, to present it in a television magazine style format.

Thursday, 19 August 2010, 8 p.m.
Venue: Hackesche Höfe Kino, Rosenthaler Str. 40/41, 10178 Berlin

Tickets: (030)283 46 03
S Hackescher Markt, U Rosenthaler Platz
Entrance: 7,50€, Discounts through Berlinpass, Gildepass or Heavy User Card (more information at:


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