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This Land

Project information

Talent Sydelle Willow Smith
Role of participant Distributor
Director Miki Redelinghuys
Status finished

Production details

Running time 48 min
Genre Documentary
Year of production 2017
Country of Production South Africa
Production Company
Plexus Films

still / picture for This Land


The Land & Accountability Research Centre (LARC) at UCT commissioned the vivid documentary film This Land as a way for rural people to bring the untold story of their struggle for rights and accountability on communal land into urban forums of legislative, political and corporate decision-making. This film is a critical contribution to the accelerating national debate about rights relating to land use and ownership in deep rural areas seldom visited by thought leaders, policymakers and legislators. The 48-minute film reflects national challenges in visits to three areas of KwaZulu-Natal. The main narrative follows the people of Makhasaneni in pristine hills near Melmoth in their battle against an Indian company’s secretive collusion with politically connected elites to develop a vast opencast iron-ore mine on the land they have farmed for generations. To illustrate what is at stake, the film follows a delegation from Makhasaneni on a visit to a working mine at Somkhele, using drone footage and personal testimony to show the reality that faces them. Finally, This Land shows that mining is not the only threat as people from Babanango relate how their lifestyle is being destroyed as the grazing lands around them are turned into a game reserve.

Participation in international festivals / awards

Sheffield - wide array of festivals would need to get further input from filmmaker