Posted by: Paralyzer on Nov 02, 2011
What is it : Drama/crime/somewhat thriller
Kinda like : a history of violence meets portrait of young man drowning
Whose in it : Fana Mokoena ( the lab, hopeville) , Presley Chweneyagae (Tsotsi) to name a few
Helmer : Khalo Matabane ( When we were black, conversations on a sunday afternoon)
Story : BEE man's comrade era ghosts come to roost when he reaches the pinnacle of BEE success
The Review ;
Well SA cinema this years has given us Afrikaans drama, cigarette addicted Mzansi folks, Mzansi folks skeeming to steal money that does not belong to them and now Khalo Matabane brings a dose of realism, angst, despair and post apartheid head aches all rolled in one in a film called "state of violence". Where like in that famous play by Shakespeare "All are punished".
The movie does not just explore the nature of violence ,but revenge and holding onto vendettas ,which makes it more powerful especially since it locates this arguements not just in our recent history but our present too. Like the title character Bobedi aka Terror who has left his comrade life behind for BEE suites and accumulative wealth.The township remain a stark reminder of where we come from as a country and how far we still need to go to (re)address the wrongs of the past. How ironic that its these township that gave birth to Bobedi spawn the thing that would change Bobedi life forever.
The question then becomes; does the BEE man continue to smoke cigars in the lavish clubs or does he go medievil on everyone like he used to back in the heyday of the struggle. It's his choices that show how families and our own humanity was/is scared by our history, especially violance of the aparthied years and the continuing poverty around us.
This is Fana Mokoena's film as Bobedi aka Terror. The man does not have to say much.Like Rodney Nyakaile aka papa action in "portrait of young man drowning" we spend a lot of the film following him,literally with the camera, as he goes through the nooks and corners of the township.The films also relies on the face of the actor to convey alot of subtext and nuance. Fana delivers in spade.It's actually cool that Ronnie is in this film too. Poor Presley is Fana's younger brother who plays the toughie with a soft heart to Terrors hard edge.He does not get as much screen time but Presley makes those baby cheeks to work for him,you could almost just give him a tissue to wipe those tears but he does the bleeding heart very well.
Khalo Matabane has to be congratulated for making a very depressive film and not being apologetic about it.This film is good. Its depressing cause it does not offer any easy answers plus it leaves you with real life questions that plague us as South Africans. The fact I rank it with"a history of violence" speaks volume about what themes that come out from Khalo's film.In an era where there's pressure to dumb it down and make straight commercial flicks ,Khalo has to be applauded for sticking to the thinking mans cinema.
The film ain't perfect, there are one or two cliche moments , the pace is quite slow and you just need to let the film grow on you.But I liked it, I felt it really raises some issues that we need to speak about. It made me think of all those IFP,ANC ,special forces guys who were hectic in the 80's where are they now and how are they adjusting to the new SA.Then there's South Africans in general and how we view violence and how we use it.If you want a film that will make you think not necessarily entertain ,check this one out.
Summary : Good flick not for your average pop corn audince who-only-watch-twilight-movies but if you are interested in South Africa or you like giving your hormones a bit of depression and grey matter something to stretch over.This is for you. Get your comrade uncle to watch it with you could be a great bonding session