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Rescreening: “Of Good Report” with Lee-Ann Van Rooi in Attendance

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InfoEntrance: 30,- N$; Age restricted: 18 years and older

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Due to public demand, AfricAvenir will re-screen the South African feature film “Of Good Report” on Wednesday, 25 September 2014 at 7.15 pm at the Goethe-Centre Windhoek. Actress Lee-Ann Van Rooi (Of Good Report, Shirley Adams), who plays the investigating Police officer in the film, will attend the screening.

Schoolteacher Parker Sithole (Mothusi Magano, as known from “Tsotsi” and “The Lap”) has arrived in a rural village with no local connections, but his unassuming disposition inspires trust and sympathy, and he comes "of good report": with a glowing recommendation from his previous employer. He promptly begins an illicit affair with one of his new pupils, sixteen-year-old Nolitha (Petronella Tshuma as known from “Scandal!”). It proves to be a disastrous development for both.

Set in a rural town that reeks of the economically precarious working poor's despair, “Of Good Report” dives into the rarely visited moral worlds of these impoverished communities, burrowing into their dark recesses and exploring their complex social webs. In this forgotten place, a place rife with vice, greed, loneliness, and the fear of sinking further into poverty, a man can get away with anything — including a gruesome murder. Sithole, who by official record and outward behaviour embodies the "good" citizen — grandson, educator, potential husband — is in reality a danger to society. The film grants him neither mercy nor salvation, refraining from drawing into psychological analysis to paint him as a victim.

Superbly filmed in black and white, Of Good Report takes us well out of our comfort zones with the boldness of an artistic and political maverick. Audiences should be forewarned: the film's depictions of Sithole's crimes and their aftermath is heavy viewing that may disturb some audiences.

Of Good Report is about a teacher who becomes obsessed with a 16-year-old female pupil. Of Good Report caused much debate and a controversy at last year's Durban International Film Festival 2013 as the South African Film and Publications Board refused to classify it as it featured an underage character having a sexual relationship with an adult. That meant the film couldn't open the fest as planned and couldn't screen until the fest's last day when the board reversed its decision.

Trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hnpg1LdlJU

The South African fiction film “Of Good Report” was directed by Jahmil XT Qubeka, and produced by Michael Auret and Luzuko Dilima in 2013. The film length is 109 minutes.

After our initial screening in January in Windhoek, the film won many awards globally, most noteworthy: It was the biggest winner at the South African Film and TV Awards (SAFTA) and took the most significant prizes at the 10th AMAA's in Nigeria.

SAFTA: Best feature film, best director, writing team, best actor (Mothusi Magano), best supporting actor (Tshamano Sebe) and best supporting actress (Tina Jaxa).

AMAA: Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director Prize. Petronella Tshuma, who plays the lead female role in the film, took the Best Young Promising Actor award while Mothusi Magano, the lead male actor who did not utter a word throughout the movie won the Best Actor prize.

Press
"... Lolita, meets Death in Venice, meets Psycho….you will also struggle to find a locally made film in recent months as innovative and, quite frankly, as good as this ballsy African noir feature."             (Steyn du Toit, Sunday Independent)

"... a psycho romance… superbly exciting… a fine, assured thrilling, and complicated piece of South African cinema.. Turn away if you’re squeamish about details."    (Kavish Chetty, Mahala)

"... a suspense filled feature film that tells it like it is.” (Tony Manyangadze, Jounralismiziko)

"Qubeka's film is best viewed as a daring, refreshing, clever and darkly comic take on the serial killer origin genre. It is one of the most intriguing, surprising and intelligent pieces of cinema to come out of South Africa in decades.”  (Tymon Smith, Times Live)

“Referencing such works as Nabokov’s »Lolita«, Hitchcock’s »Psycho« and Shakespeare’s »Othello«, director Qubeka delivers a stylish and upsetting story shot in black-and-white. Its most unique choice – to not have the main character utter a single word during the entire film – is bold, but ultimately fruitful, as actor Mothusi Magano is more than capable of portraying the inner turmoil of the inadequate teacher with just his expressions or sometimes a scream or a laugh.” (Stockholm International Film Festival)

The film series African Perspectives is supported by AfriCine, the Goethe-Centre Windhoek/NaDS, and Turipamwe Design.

© Copyright AfricAvenir 2014

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