Mother to Mother, Knuckle City & I Am Not A Witch – Award-Winning African Films Now on Showmax
- Mother to Mother – First on Showmax
“My son killed your daughter.”
So begins Sara de Gouveia’s Mother To Mother, a 48-minute documentary about Sindiwe Magona’s book exploring the death of 26-year-old Fulbright scholar Amy Biehl, who was killed in 1993 while working to organise South Africa’s first democratic elections.
Mother to Mother comes to Showmax straight from the 2020 Encounters South African International Documentary Film Festival, which praised the documentary as “an engaging and thought-provoking work of cinema that expands our collective humanity” and awarded it second place in the Adiaha Award for best documentary film by an African woman.
- Knuckle City – First on Showmax
Knuckle City was the most awarded film at this year’s SAFTAs, taking home six awards, including Best Director, Best Actor for Bongile, Best Supporting Actor for Patrick Ndlovu, Best Editing (Layla Swart), as well as Production Design and Make-Up and Hairstyling.
Directed by multiple SAFTA-winner Jahmil X.T. Qubeka (Blood Psalms, Of Good Report, Sew The Winter To My Skin), Knuckle City has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “It is impossible not to be completely consumed by Knuckle City,” wrote The Globe and Mail when the film premiered at Toronto International Film Festival, describing it as “Raging Bull meets Rocky, but in South Africa” and praising its navigation of “the painful issues of toxic masculinity, age and the impossible-seeming choices one can be forced to make to ensure the survival of themselves and the people they love… Mantsai’s performance is gripping, electrifying and heart-breaking.”
- I Am Not A Witch – First on Showmax
“I Am Not A Witch came about because of a huge spate of witch accusations that took place over a particularly dry summer in Zambia,” says Rungano. “What drew me in particular was that these accusations of witchcraft were almost always aimed at women. Naturally this added to my curiosity. What was particularly shocking in Zambia is that it’s a country dominated by Bembas, my maternal tribe. The Bemba people are matriarchal. We pride ourselves in the equality between men and women. Women were in the army and police long before many Western countries admitted them. Women could divorce just as easily as men. Women can own land and inherit just as a man does. Even our names are gender neutral. It’s this apparent contradiction that held my curiosity.”
Winner of 15 international awards, including the BAFTA for Best Debut for Zambian-born, Wales-raised director Rungano Nyoni, I Am Not A Witch has a 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As Variety put it, “It’s rare and exhilarating that a new filmmaker arrives on the scene so sure of herself and so willing to take bold, counter-intuitive chances… Invigorating, intriguing and provocative.”