South African writer and director Phumi Morare’s film Lakutshon’ Ilanga has reportedly been selected to show in France. Lakutshon’ Ilanga, a film set in the Apartheid era, will premier at the Festival du Court Métrage de Clermont-Ferrand this coming weekend. The film stars Zikhona Bali, Aphiwe Mkefe and Thembekile Mathe and tells the story of a woman’s courage in fighting the Apartheid police.
Morare revealed to OkayAfrica that being selected for the highly acclaimed French film festival comes as much needed affirmation after facing many difficulties with shooting the movie in the midst of a global pandemic: “Having my film have it’s World Premiere at Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival and its US Premiere at The Pan African Film Festival is such an honour. Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival is one the world’s most prestigious festivals for short films.”
Lakutshon’ Ilanga tells the story of Lerato, a Black nurse who looks after Anele, her brother, who is a high school student and her little sister Khanyi. The film is set at the apex of Apartheid where young boys and men often went missing at the hands of the police. The thrilling plot sets Lerato on a mission to find her brother after he suddenly goes missing. Morare explained to OkayAfrica that she wanted to focus on the different ways women fought Apartheid: “I wanted to explore the traits of women that can be misunderstood as weakness, and to look at the circumstances that cause us to unleash and reveal our power”.
Music has always been an ushering force in the fight against Apartheid and the title of the film is borrowed from Miriam Makeba’s searing song “Lakutshon Ilanga”. The song is about searching for a loved one in the midst of their unexplainable disappearance. Inspired by Morare’s mother’s real life events, Lakutshon’ Ilanga tells the story of untold apartheid heroines.
Morare studied at Chapman University and is based in Los Angeles. Lakutshon’ Ilanga has also been selected for the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles where African films get selected for the Oscars.
Watch Lakutshon’ Ilanga trailer below.