“How we perceive our social and personal relationships across gender is important,” says producer Jasmyn Asvat. “All other questions to the type of society we create are underscored by our gender relations. This documentary aims to help us get to a place where we face some of the toughest questions around gender violence and how we appropriately respond to this epidemic.”
In The People vs Patriarchy, Lebogang interviews the likes of musician and Inxeba lead actor Nakhane Toure; transgender activist Glow Makatsi; 2017 Aspen New Voices Fellow Koketso Moeti; poet, activist and feminist Lebohang Masango; transmodel and artist Elle van der Burg; performance artist Desire Marea; and YouTube sensation Sibu Mpanza, among others. “There is no version of this where we come out as the good guys,“ says Lee Molefi at the end of the trailer. Watch it here:
“It’s been a complex film to make,” says Lebo. “On one hand, men need to get together and have conversations about dismantling patriarchy. But then on the other hand, there is the danger of centring yourself as a man in a way that undermines women. So it’s a lose-lose situation. It’s one of those rare films where there isn’t any personal glory or victory attached to the director; it’s about introducing a generation of minds to concepts that will free them from the binds we were raised with. It’s about starting a conversation.”
“We are passionate about bringing authentic and relevant content to our viewers,” says Monde Twala, Vice President for BET, Youth & Music for Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa. “MTV’s The People Vs Patriarchy enables important conversations and engagement on a critical social issue. We have chosen to air the documentary during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November to 10 December 2017 as a global call for the prevention and elimination of violence against children, women and men.”
Lebo’s previous documentary on MTV, The People Vs The Rainbow Nation, trended on Twitter on its release, sparking a nationwide debate about why South African youth believe the struggle is far from over, more than 20 years into democracy.
“It shouldn’t be taken for granted what MTV is doing,” says Lebo. “In both films, they have given me autonomy to make the films I want to make. I don’t know anyone else in their position who would do that. They seldom interfere. Someone said to me, ‘I would love to see these films if they weren’t commissioned by MTV’ and I was like, ‘To be honest, I don’t think they would be very different.’”
To join the conversation, use the hashtag #peoplevspatriarchy.
See more of Lebo’s documentaries at https://arcadecontent.tv/south-african-documentaries/