Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2004
Between Joyce and Remembrance
Pays concerné : Afrique du Sud
Durée : 68 minutes
Genre : drame
Type : documentaire


Ce film porte à l’écran l’un des nombreux et terribles cas jugés par la Commission Vérité et Réconciliation (TRC) en Afrique du Sud. Le jeune leader étudiant et activite de 22 ans, Siphiwo Mtimkulu, et son ami Topsy Madaka furent tués et brûlés en 1982 par la redoutée et brutale Security Police sous l’ancien gouvernement de l’apartheid.

Réal : Mark J. Kaplan

Note: Ce film est la version longue et remaniée d’un film précédent : Where Truth Lies, réalisé par 30 minutes Mark J. Kaplan, produit par New Vision Production et Ubuntu Film and TV Productions avec TVE – en association avec la Commission of the European Communities and WITNESS.


This moving film features one of the many terrible cases to come before the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). 22-year-old student leader and activist Siphiwo Mtimkulu and his friend Topsy Madaka were shot and burned in 1982 by the feared and brutal Security Police under the former apartheid government. Gideon Nieuwoudt, nicknamed « Notorious Nieuwoudt », was a colonel in the Security Police. He and his colleagues were responsible for the torture, poisoning and death of numerous black activists, including Siphiwo and Steve Biko. Two days before the deadline expired, the officers finally applied for amnesty.

Filmmaker Mark Kaplan documented the case for three years, following Joyce, Siphiwo’s mother, as well as the security policemen, during which time Nieuwoudt met with the Mtimkulu family seeking their forgiveness, with unexpected and dramatic consequences. Kaplan’s camera sensitively captures the family’s difficulties in overcoming the trauma of Siphiwo’s death and the film expertly portrays the complex nature of reconciliation and forgiveness.

BETWEEN JOYCE AND REMEMBRANCE is a hard-hitting documentary about truth and reconciliation in South Africa, focusing on the family of the tortured, poisoned and murdered student activist, Siphiwo Mtimkulu.
Producer Mark Kaplan spent seven years documenting the lives of Joyce and Sikhumbuzo Mtimkulu, mother and son of the murdered young man, culminating in a meeting of the family with Siphiwo’s killer, Gideon Nieuwoudt, a former colonel in the apartheid government’s hated security police.

Kaplan reveals the fragility of South Africa’s transition to democracy by exploring the feelings of the Mtimkulu family. The film picks up where the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission left off. It offers a deeper understanding of the difficulty of reconciling with torturers, knowing they will receive no punishment. A burial of the only physical remains of Siphiwo – a handful of his hair – is a pitiful closure. For Siphiwo’s son, Sikhumbuzo, this may not be enough.

We begin to understand the magnitude of the sacrifice being attempted by this generation: to set aside the personal healing that might come from justice served now, in order to accelerate a transformation to a just society, free of recrimination, for the next generation.

The film is currently being used in conflict situations all over the world.

Note: This is an updated, and much more detailed, version of an earlier film called Where Truth Lies (1999, 30 min).
Directed by Mark J. Kaplan. Produced by New Vision Production
and Ubuntu Film and TV Productions with TVE – Produced in association with the Commission of the European Communities and WITNESS.

By Mark Kaplan
South Africa | 1h08m | DV-Cam | English | Rating 15 | Doc

Color / Stereo
Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2005
Copyright Date: 2004
ISBN (VHS): 1-59498-270-X
ISBN (DVD): 1-59498-271-8

Directed by Mark J. Kaplan
Produced by Grey Matter Media

« Offers a deeper understanding of how truth and reconciliation matter on a personal level. » World Association for Christian Communication

DVD-R version available
The DVD version of this program is recorded on DVD-R which is not compatible with some older DVD players. See the new DVD page for more details.

Audience Award, Encounters, The South African International Documentary Film Festival
Opening Night Film, Ten Years of Freedom Film Festival, New York
Honorable Mention, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
INPUT, Barcelona
DITSHWANELO Human Rights Film Festival
Alex Film Festival
Western Psychological Association Film Festival


2010 | Afrika Eye Film Festival 2010 | BRISTOL, GB |

2009 | Africa in Motion (Edinburgh)
* UK Premiere
Showing Sat 24th Oct at 6.00 pm
Venue: Filmhouse
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