Struggling Kalushi film bags a gong in Egypt


DURBAN - THE local film Kalushi, which celebrates the life of anti-apartheid activist Solomon Mahlangu, may not be doing well on the local circuit, but it has bagged an award at a continental film festival and its producers are taking the biopic to an international audience.

This week South Africans on social media commemorated the 38th anniversary of Mahlangu’s death at the hands of the apartheid government. He was 22 when he was hanged.

Share this story
Actor Thabo Rametsi who plays the part of Solomon Mahlangu in the film Kalushi.Actor Thabo Rametsi who plays the part of Solomon Mahlangu in the film Kalushi.

His last words, which reverberated on social media this week: “My blood will nourish the tree that will bear fruits to freedom. Tell my people that I love them.”

The movie’s producers and cast, as part of commemorating Mahlangu, travelled to the British Film Institute to screen it to an international audience.

The movie recently won the Best Film award at the Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt.

Film producer Mandla Dube said there are plans to market the movie further locally and internationally.

“Part of the screening here at BFI (British Film Institute), which was organised by Wale Ojo, is the marketing of the film. A film has to have a life outside its own market and traditionally our local audiences have appreciated our films once they do well overseas which is a pity,” said Dube.

“The challenge is multifaceted as we lack infrastructure (to show films) in our communities, so that’s one.

“But we are aslo not seeing enough of the corporate sector supporting our kids to see the film.

“We are happy it’s not a romantic comedy. It’s a serious coming-of-age period film that’s seminal. It’s not solely about box office. It has launched so many careers while educating us about a past which the Truth and Reconciliation Committee overlooked,” said Dube.

Although there were challenges, the recent award was worth celebrating, said Dube. “It’s very humbling to be recognised at the Luxor Film Festival which gave us the first prize. Not too many can say that.

“So it’s a very wonderful feeling in the Kalushi camp,” said Dube.


Share this story