It’s always so exciting to receive an email from First Wednesday Film Club every month – mainly because a) I get to watch a free movie b) It’s probably a flick I would not have seen on the regular circuit and as such will be introduced to something new.
This week was no different – the film being shown is called Of Good Report. From the brief introduction on the newsletter I learned that it is local SA film by Jamil XT Qubeka. Obviously, having no previous knowledge of the movie, I hit up the innernet to learn more about it.
At first, the storyline didn’t quite entice me, rather, I should say made me a little uncomfortable – it is the story of a school teacher who takes a post teaching English at a rural South African school and engages in statutory rape. cue the intrigue – the man has an affair with a 16 year old student of his. This made me uncomfortable at first and I wondered how well a man could honestly tell the story of the power and influence struggle between a young woman and an older man? Or even the sexualisation of young girls that seems to go unchecked. A few things worried me about the story line though I understand these are things that need to be told.
As it happens, I got lost clicking on link after link trying to learn more about this production and then I met the deal maker – the film was banned by the SA film board in July, on the day it was set to be showcased at the annual Durban International Film Festival this year, then later unbanned and it was shown on the last day of the festival. This little bit of big news pretty much solidified my desire to see it. In basic terms – I like things. I like them more if they have a slither of danger or rebellion.
I then came across these images that, in as much are not prolific, tell a dramatic story of events unfolding in the fight for the films unbanning. I believe there was a 140 character sleuth of angry tweets from the film’s director’s or owners at the time f the banning, which I missed.
Here’s an interesting review of the movie: Of Good Report