Fiche Film
MOYEN Métrage | 1980
L’Afrique du Sud nous appartient (South Africa Belongs to Us)
Pays concerné : Afrique du Sud
Durée : 57 minutes
Genre : politique
Type : documentaire


Ce portrait intime de cinq femmes noires sud-africaines symtomatiques révèle la réalité déshumanisante de la vie sous l’apartheid. Les histoires personnelles d’une épouse séparée de son mari, une femme de ménage d’un hôpital vivant dans un hôtel réservée aux femmes, une infirmière de Soweto, une domestique et une leader d’un camp de squatters, procurent fortement la meilleure illustration sur la violence quotidienne que l’apartheid fait peser sur la vie de famille et la construction sociale. EN même temps, la résistence de ces cinq femmes démontre la force qui sera capable de construire une nouvelle Afrique du Sud.

Sont aussi interviewées dans le film Winnie Mandela, la leader expulsée et bannie qui est devenue un symbole de la résistance en Afrique du Sud; Fatimah Meer, une sociologue indienne qui est interdite de publication et aussi d’être citée; ainsi que Numisi Kjuzwayo, une jeune leader du Black Consciousness Movement (Mouvement de la Conscience Noire), décrété hors-la-loi.


South Africa Belongs to Us
This intimate portrait of five typical black South African women reveals the dehumanizing reality of life under apartheid. The personal stories of a wife left behind in the homelands, a hospital cleaner living in a single-sex hostel, a public health nurse from Soweto, a domestic servant and a leader of a squatters’ camp, still provide the best introduction on film to the daily violence wreaked by apartheid on family life and the social fabric. At the same time, these five women’s resilience demonstrate the strength which will be able to build a new South Africa.

A film portraying the daily struggles in the lives of black women in South Africa. With observational portraits of five ordinary women, and with the insight of four women activists, the film depicts the battle of the black woman for human dignity in the face of apartheid: from the struggle for a roof over her head and food for her children, to black consciousness-raising and the total liberation of her people.

Working covertly, the filmmakers were able to gain access for the first time to places like the huge segregated barracks built for so-called migrant workers, where women are condemned to spend their lives separated from their families. A woman on one of the barren « homelands » lives with her 13 children, forbidden to join her husband who has had to live alone in Johannesburg for 20 years.

The film looks at the life of a domestic servant in a white household who has little time to visit her own children, and at the life of a nurse at one of the few family planning clinics for blacks in Soweto. There are also scenes from Crossroads, an illegal shanty town outside Cape Town where the defiance of women has created a spirited community.

Interviewed in the film are also Winnie Mandela, the banned and banished women’s leader who has become a symbol of resistance in South Africa; Fatimah Meer, an Indian sociologist who is forbidden to publish or be quoted; and Numisi Kjuzwayo, a young leader of the outlawed Black Consciousness Movement.

The power of this film comes from the women themselves, in their spirit of defiance in the face of enormous obstacles. The breadth of their experience provides a unique perspective on the system of apartheid, and on life in South Africa today.

« Highly recommended. One of the best indictments of the white South African regime. »Time Out

« Startling in its matter-of-factness.This clandestine film presents a unique picture of everyday South Africa from five very individual, female viewpoints. »Geoffrey Hobbs, The New Standard

« An especially hard-hitting look at the human cost of South Africa’s unjust racial policies. »Voice of Youth Advocates

« A damning tale told. Five brave black women, ranging from highly educated to the most illiterate of shantytowners, face the cameras illegally to talk of their fear and frustration under apartheid. »Daily Mail

« A modern saga of human misery. This film allows the facts – and the women – to speak for themselves. »The Daily Express

A Film by Chris Austin, Peter Chappell and Ruth Weiss

35 min/57 minutes / color
Copyright Date: 1980
South Africa
Producer: Gerhard Schmidt
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