We Are Thankful
|Role of participant||Director|
|Producer||Joshua Magor, Bronwyn Coburn, Michelle Cho, Thembalihle Mncadi|
|Running time||94 min|
|Year of production||2018|
|Country of Production||South Africa|
SynopsisSiyabonga (english title: We Are Thankful), named after the film’s main character Siyabonga Majola, is a docufiction film set in the KwaZulu Natal region of modern day South Africa. It makes use of footage from both the narrative and documentary tradition.
In the film we follow Siyabonga, a young man making theatre plays in the township of Mphopomeni. One day he hears the surprising news that a movie is to be made in a nearby town and he makes it his mission to be part of the film. From conspiring with a maid to steal wifi from the umlungus (white people) so he can write an email to the film producers, to rebuffing a friend’s urgent plea for him to improve his luck through witchcraft, Siyabonga’s journey takes him down many surprising paths that ultimately lead him to meeting with the film’s director. Here we observe the conversation that caused the film we are watching to come into existence.
A film based on real events, re-enacted by those who lived through them, we follow this extraordinary man as he does all he can to try and improve his life and take control of his fortune. Siyabonga’s past echoes in his present in much the same way that South Africa’s own history seems to have left an indelible mark on the people and places of the film. Time moves differently in such spaces. Places are never confined to just the here and now, but rather some kind of eternal memory.
Participation in international festivals / awardsLocarno Film Festival
Cape Town International Film Festival
Slamdance Film Festival
Sudan Independent Film Festival
Barbican Chronic Youth Festival
Sarasota Film Festival
Athens International Film & Video Festival
Mashariki African Film Festival
Vancouver South African Film Festival
Annual Copenhagen Film Festival