Oscar nominated director Angus Gibson does well in his attempt to tell the story of a gangster who falls in love amid a night of violence and forced removals in Sophiatown.
"Back Of The Moon" is more than just a reiteration of what happened during apartheid. It’s a redemption project for Gibson, who received flack 30 years ago for a documentary he did on Sophiatown. It was said to be romanticised.
The film plays out in a single night in 1958. It’s a brutal tale of gangsters pitted against gangsters. It’s a hotbed of political activity with a fight against police as the Sophiatown community are forced out of their homes – but amid all this is a love story, that at some point overtakes the main plot.
Congolese-born Richard Lukunku does a sterling job in the lead as Badman, a tall, dark and handsome intellectual. Unfortunately, Badman didn’t have an opportunity to use his intelligence on a real career, instead turning to crime as leader of the Vipers – a gang ruling Sophiatown. As the story continues, Badman turns into a good man, showing us his soft, kind-hearted, loving side, and even offering his kidnap victim a cup of tea.