In the tradition of Michael Apted's landmark Up Series, 21 UP South Africa will be available on DVD beginning JULY 22nd.
“Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” Up Series has now been taken to South Africa, where a group of children, first filmed in 1992 at the age of 7, are now 21. Rich and poor, black, white and “mixed race,” these fascinating and revealing portraits offer unique insights into the social and political upheavals that have occurred throughout South Africa since the crumbling of apartheid. From township slums to apartheid-era mansions to the bushveldt, the children of 21 Up South Africa have experienced a multitude of change - just like the country itself. As with time-lapse photography, we see them at age 7 and 14 - with their disarming honesty and dreams for the future - and now at 21, part of the new South Africa. We also learn that AIDS has claimed the lives of three of these children. Director Angus Gibson is one of South Africa’s premier documentary filmmakers and a founding member of Free Filmmakers, a film co-operative established in 1985 to create a relevant South African cinema. He produced and directed many documentary projects for European television including the highly acclaimed Soweto, A History for Channel 4 and the South African chapter of Granada Television’s flagship documentary Up Series.
A Film by Fernando Pérez will also be available on DVD this July 22. Considered to be “one of the most prolific and innovative filmmakers working in Cuba today,” Fernando Pérez's(Suite Habana, Madagascar Hello, Hemingway) Clandestinos is one of the most commercially successful and ‘Hollywood’ of all Cuban films. This tense, action-packed political thriller chronicles the romance between two young revolutionaries in 1950s Havana as they fight for their lives against Batista’s secret service. Based on real events from the early days of the revolution, which put Fidel Castro in power Clandestinos is “a moving story of young people who loved and fought with the same passion.” (Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago) Clandestinos focuses on the romance that takes place between two Cuban young people while working on an underground printing press. These urban guerrilla fighters, fighting independently from the Castro-led groups, are at first content simply to disrupt public gatherings in a small way, but eventually they graduate on to major acts of terrorism. Clandestinos has been screened at acclaimed festivals internationally and still enjoys tremendous popularity in Cuba today.
A film by Sergio Giral is one of those Cuban films “that were forged in a righteous, red-hot ferment but still found the courage and wit to ask questions about the society around them.” (Gary Dauphin, The Village Voice) Maluala is the most striking addition to a trilogy of “historically lucid” films by well known Afro-Cuban director Sergio Giral about Cuba’s slave uprisings, the gradual rise of rebellion against colonial traditions, and the ultimate freedom that resulted. Set in 19th century Cuba, runaway African slaves known as ‘Cimarrons’ overpower their Spanish masters and hide in settlements in the eastern Maluala is made with colorful ritual and acting. It is an absorbing adventure film wrought from historical events which appear violent, but director Giral implants into every image the necessity for unity among people in the struggle for power and undefined ambition.