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Luke Ahrens

Director Aliki Saragas is excellent at appealing to the emotions and the common humanity of her audience.

Rather than using shock tactics or focusing on the dismal state of the town (no electricity, sanitation, security) she elects to focus on the community of strong-willed women.

She conveys the tragedy of Marikana through a character-led narrative, allowing the audience to feel a genuine connection and sincere empathy rather than an array of guilt. Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana are powerful protagonists in a story about the realities of South Africa’s inequality.

The charisma and spirit of these two women – one of whom will go on to be sworn into Parliament as a member of the EFF – is enough to uplift an entire nation, but all they want is for their community to be uplifted and for justice to be served.

This being the director’s first feature length film, there were some noticeable technical issues, which should be addressed. Several seemingly false endings, often followed by what seemed like insignificant pieces of information made it seem as if the film maker was trying to fill time.

The overuse of a handheld camera also detracted, in the end, from the overall viewing experience. Handheld footage definitely has its place, but its overuse results in a shaky image, which can be misconstrued as lazy film making.

These, however, are minor ...

Director Aliki Saragas is excellent at appealing to the emotions and the common humanity of her audience.

Rather than using shock tactics or focusing on the dismal state of the town (no electricity, sanitation, security) she elects to focus on the community of strong-willed women.

She conveys the tragedy of Marikana through a character-led narrative, allowing the audience to feel a genuine connection and sincere empathy rather than an array of guilt. Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana are powerful protagonists in a story about the realities of South Africa’s inequality.

The charisma and spirit of these two women – one of whom will go on to be sworn into Parliament as a member of the EFF – is enough to uplift an entire nation, but all they want is for their community to be uplifted and for justice to be served.

This being the director’s first feature length film, there were some noticeable technical issues, which should be addressed. Several seemingly false endings, often followed by what seemed like insignificant pieces of information made it seem as if the film maker was trying to fill time.

The overuse of a handheld camera also detracted, in the end, from the overall viewing experience. Handheld footage definitely has its place, but its overuse results in a shaky image, which can be misconstrued as lazy film making.

These, however, are minor issues in a film that deserves to be seen and praised. It has the very real potential to raise awareness and spur much-needed change.

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