Keiskamma: AIDS and love in a new South African documentary

0 Posted by - February 7, 2008 - Blog

The number of amazing political films piling up on my desk to review is crowding out the view of my computer, so I've decided to post a handful of “mini-reviews,” short one to two paragraph attempts to capture the essence of the film and pique your interest. Here's the first:

KEISKAMMA: A STORY OF LOVE (S.Africa, 2007, 90min)
Directed by Miki Redelinghuys

This potent vérité does not hide from love as it follows activists and patients in a South African district riddled with the HIV/AIDS virus. Meandering throughout a community forged by the challenges of sickness and poverty, the film captures the collective spirit that comes with intense commitment to mutual aid. Heartbreaking stories slowly emerge such as the tale of Nkululeko, a young boy infected with HIV and covered in sores, who is remiss in his self-disciplined routine of taking pills every day. There are others as well, but the film is focused more on the actions of those helping, caring, and staying strong.

Keiskamma is a lyric portrait of a group of incredible individuals who are building up spirit from bodies taken away. Remarkably reflexive, the film also supplies much-needed moments of humour and cultural critique. In one sequence South African women are filmed literally and figuratively weaving the tapestry of their story, while their words are translated into English subtitles on the screen: “More photos of us we will never see…” Their tapestry is now traveling the world, communicating the story of hardship, community and love. The narrative quilt and this beautiful film will ensure their story is not ignored nor forgotten.

For more information about KEISKAMMA: A STORY OF LOVE, visit the film's official site.

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