Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Random Post: Society - A South African Film / Mini Series

As many of you know I like to stop by AfterEllen every so often in order to keep up with what's going on. Today I was not disappointed. They reviewed the movie "Society" which is taken from the South African mini series of the same title. To read the full review click here. I hear it is doing the rounds at film festivals in the US but I have not yet been able to locate a schedule. I am so looking forward to seeing it.
The story of four affluent South African women who are “making it” in post-apartheid Johannesburg, Society is actually a miniseries that has been re-cut into a feature film, and is currently playing at film festivals in the U.S.

Ten years out of high school and less than two decades after the end of apartheid, four twenty-something women are chasing the new African dream

Inno (Lele Ledwaba) is a climatologist who features prominently on TV. She’s a minor celebrity who obsesses over fashion and her various boyfriends. Beth (Sibulele Gcilitshana) is a schoolteacher; in fact, she’s the only black teacher at a prominent private girls school. She’s also a lesbian — but more on that later.Akua (Zandile Msutwana) is a banker and a real jet setter, while Lois (Sam Tyelbooi) is married and pregnant. She’s forced to turn down life as a doctor in order to accept being a wife and mother, a fact that she’s not terribly happy about.

The film actually opens on them in bed, waking up on the morning of their third anniversary. They’re happy and in love, but it soon becomes evident that Beth is still living deep inside the closet (no thanks to the strict cultural norms and the oppressive atmosphere she finds at work), a fact that irks Thuli to no end.

Beth in particular is at a cultural crossroads. She’s living a secret life with an out partner, too terrified of the judgment that she sees everywhere in her world. Caught between the modern concept of a loving same-sex relationship and keeping everything “private," she’s forced to confront her own internalized homophobia — and the traditional attitudes about what is normal and what isn’t.
Extracted from AfterEllen - Review of "Society" by Danielle Riendeau July 21, 2009

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