Cape Town - After a successful festival run in 2020 and 2021, picking up four awards along the way, including Best Documentary at the Wales International Film Festival 2021, District Six Rising from the Dust is now available on Prime Video across Africa.
Following a long wait by the South African public to watch the film, District Six Rising from the Dust is now accessible on the American video-on-demand streaming service amazon.com, with an estimated 117 million subscribers worldwide.
District Six Rising from the Dust unpacks the art, history and social landscape of Cape Town’s most remembered district. It is currently the only documentary of its kind which details the decades of history of District Six from the 1960s to 2019 and is presented from the point of view of one whose ancestors have been dispossessed. It is estimated that approximately 60 000 to 80 000 people were forcibly removed from District Six.
“One of those families’ is my own,” director Weaam Williams said. “My mother, Nazley Hartley, in her late teens, was forcibly removed with her parents, siblings, uncles, aunts and grandparents. A ‘tribe’, a community, uprooted from their homes and businesses of four generations. This painful chapter of our family’s history was never told to me until I undertook making this documentary. Previously, my mother only spoke of her happy memories of District Six,” Williams said.
Williams, via her company, Tribal Alchemy Productions, a Cape Town-based family business, worked on the award-winning documentary for six years with her spouse, Nafia Kocks, as the Director of Photography. He was able to capture intimate moments of this autobiographical film.
During this time, she lived in a house in District Six, restituted to her grandfather, where she came to understand and document the many challenges facing this new fledgling community.
The documentary is a compilation of Williams’ personal story, and through commentary, interviews, archival footage, and traditional cultural events, she gives audiences a unique inside look into a community’s fragmentation and re-emergence.