Rogosin's docudrama was an early exposé of the evils of apartheid, filmed clandestinely and using a non-professional cast who portray a typical township family, separated by law and drifting through a series of menial jobs until a single infringement (i.e. man and wife share a night together) leads to a singularly bleak denouement. Although the film has considerable weaknesses - principally on the narrative level of performance, and the need to spell everything out in the manner of a social science course (this last, an entirely understandable decision for 1959) - its power comes from the location filming of the township, which might have been shot today. This township - Sophiatown - was once the only place in South Africa where blacks could own freehold properties. The area was demolished and became a white suburb called Triumph.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Bloke Modisane, Lionel Rogosin, Lewis N'kosi|