Monday, April 8, 1:15 PM
We Are Thankful
Director: Joshua Magor
Siyabonga (english title: We Are Thankful), named after the film’s main character Siyabonga Majola, is a docu-fiction film set in the KwaZulu Natal region of modern day South Africa. It makes use of footage from both the narrative and documentary tradition.
In the film we follow Siyabonga, a young man making plays in the township of Mphopomeni. One day he hears the surprising news that a movie is to be made in a nearby town and makes it his mission to be a part of the film. From conspiring with a maid to steal wifi from the umlungus (white people) so he can write an email to the film producers, to rebuffing a friend’s urgent plea for him to improve his luck by making use of witchcraft, Siyabonga’s journey takes him down many surprising paths that lead him to a meeting with the film’s director. Here we observe the conversation that caused the film we are watching to come into existence.
A film based on real events, re-enacted by those who lived through them, we follow this extraordinary man as he does all he can to try and improve his life and take control of his fortune.
Siyabonga’s past echoes in his present in much the same way that South Africa’s own history seems to have left an indelible mark on the people and places of the film. Time moves differently in such spaces. Places never confined to just the here and now, but rather some kind of eternal memory.