Anthology Film Archives Presents United We Stand: South African Cinema during Apartheid


April 7 – April 18

“Presented for the first time in the United States, this thoughtfully curated program by South Africa-based Trevor Taylor, US-based Seagull Films and UK-based Contemporary Films, offers an important, authentic, and in-depth look at South Africa under Apartheid. Deeply moving, and not to be missed.” –Danny Glover, actor, activist, and Co-Founder Louverture Films

This unique selection of films helps bring South Africa’s complex history into focus. Providing a unique insight into the resistance cinema made in South Africa, the series presents nine programs, comprising 14 landmark works. Since access to the means of production was systematically denied to black filmmakers, almost all the films in the series were made by white directors – until the fall of Apartheid, only three black filmmakers were able to operate: Simon Sabela, who made domestic, non-political dramas; Gibson Kente, whose film HOW LONG? was seized by the authorities (and was unavailable for this series); and Lionel Ngakane, who made films, in exile, in the UK (several of which we will screen here). Nevertheless, all the films in the series were made in opposition to the apartheid ideology (with the exception of TO ACT A LIE, a government propaganda piece). Apart from END OF THE DIALOGUE, none were made clandestinely, but they all faced censorship, bans, and/or delayed releases, and were denied access to widespread distribution, screening only at independent venues. Coming on the heels of the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, this is an illuminating survey of a cinema produced within an oppressive social and political system (one whose legacy is still felt in South Africa today), UNITED WE STAND offers a fascinating perspective on the phenomenon of Apartheid.
Presented with the invaluable support of Rafik Video (

Special thanks to Alla Verlotsky (Seagull Films), Eric Liknaitzky (Contemporary Films), Trevor Taylor, Gary Palmucci (Kino), Roselly A. Torres Rojas (Third World Newsreel), and Connie Field (Clarity Films).

Upcoming Screenings

About BFC/A

The Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFC/A's primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions. View all posts by BFC/A

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