Namibian Premiere of the South African feature “Of Good Report”, Saturday, 25 January 2014 at 7 pm

On Saturday, 25 January 2014 at 7 pm AfricAvenir invites to the Namibian Premiere of the now unbanned South African film „Of Good Report“ at the Goethe-Centre Windhoek. 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.nHailed as “South Africa’s Hitchcock”, South African filmmaker, Jahmil XT Qubeka (Small Town Called Descent) helms his own original screenplay, “Of Good Report”, a hard-hitting and evocative narrative about a schoolteacher, and social misfit, whose illicit affair with one of his pupils spirals into an abyss of obsession and shameful lust that ends in murder.     nCurator of the film series “African Perspectives”, Hans-Christian Mahnke, claims: “I look forward to Windhoek audiences seeing this superb film, this provocative thriller, this adaption and processing of Stanley Kubbrick’s 1962 “Lolita”, in Quentin Tarantino style. One, because of its artistic craft. Two, because it puts cinema from Africa where it belongs: At centre stage!” nEntrance: 30,- N$
Age restricted: 18 years and older! Please bring your IDs with you!n

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nSynopsis
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.

Further readingn

  • Controversial "Of Good Report" opening film for Windhoek’s AfricAvenir series, 24.12.2013, by Hans-Christian Mahnke, http://www.africine.org/?menu=art&no=11948
  • Reopening the debate about censorship, art and its value for society, 30.07.2013, by Hans-Christian Mahnke,http://www.africine.org/?menu=art&no=11723 

nAwards/Selectionsn

  • (Banned) Opening Film, Durban International Film Festival, 2013
  • “Artistic Bravery” award, newly created award in honor of Qubeka’s film, at Durban International Film Festival, 2013
  • Opening Film and Winner Best Film, 3rd Africa International Film Festival, Calabar, Nigeria, 2013
  • Opening Film, Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles, USA, 2014
  • Official Competition, 57th BFI London Film Festival, 2013
  • Chicago International Film Festival, 2013
  • Toronto International Film Festival, 2013
  • Dubai International Film Festival, 2013
  • Stockholm International Film Festival, 2013

nPress
“…… 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)n“…. 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)n“….. 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, WhatsOnWindhoek, and the Goethe-Centre Windhoek.
© Copyright AfricAvenir 2014

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