Curtain Raiser: Encounters 2024 Premieres ‘Mother City’ – A Tale of Urban Politics and Social Advocacy

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encounters 2024 mother city

“Mother City” is a powerful documentary about the fight for social equality in Cape Town’s neglected spaces. The film follows the Reclaim the City initiative’s struggle over five years to transform these spaces into homes for the working class. The documentary captures their battles against influential political forces and property moguls and documents their journey to Barcelona, where they drew inspiration to counter Cape Town’s escalating housing problems. “Mother City” is set to make its global debut at the Sheffield Doc Fest in the UK in June, before its African premiere at Encounters 2024.

‘Mother City’: A Poignant Chronicle of an Urban Struggle

Crafted with profound sensibility, “Mother City” provides an emotionally stirring portrayal of the quest for fairness in the realm of city politics. Over a span of five years, the film painstakingly records the relentless endeavours of the warriors from the Reclaim the City initiative. Their laudable objective is to breathe life into Cape Town’s neglected spaces, transforming them into homes and making them a beacon for the needs of the working class.

The eminent international documentary extravaganza, Encounters 2024, recently set the stage for the unveiling of “Mother City”. This brainchild of the famed directorial team, Miki Redelinghuys and Pearlie Joubert, embarks on a riveting exploration of urban politics intertwined with the fight for social equality. The festival, scheduled to run from 20th to 30th June 2024, is slated to spotlight a diverse range of acclaimed local, African, and international films that have created a global impact.

‘Mother City’: A Poignant Chronicle of an Urban Struggle

Crafted with profound sensibility, “Mother City” provides an emotionally stirring portrayal of the quest for fairness in the realm of city politics. Over a span of five years, the film painstakingly records the relentless endeavours of the warriors from the Reclaim the City initiative. Their laudable objective is to breathe life into Cape Town’s neglected spaces, transforming them into homes and making them a beacon for the needs of the working class.

The film paints a captivating picture akin to a present-day David vs. Goliath saga. Nkosikhona (Face) Swartbooi, along with his team of zealous advocates, brazenly takes on influential political forces and property moguls. Their battlegrounds vary from streets to judiciaries, from elite social gatherings to legislative buildings, and even extend to the homes of those in power.

‘Mother City’: A Global Journey in Pursuit of a Local Dream

“Mother City” documents their journey to Barcelona, capturing their interaction with the Mayor who effectively steered the city through a housing crisis. The team also draws inspiration to counter Cape Town’s escalating housing problems during their visit. The film allows audiences to feel a profound connection with the underprivileged and uprooted individuals who are often pushed to the fringes in their legitimate struggle for a more fulfilling life for their families.

Festival Director Mandisa Zitha lauded “Mother City”, affirming that it captures the spirit of documentary filmmaking. The unyielding dedication, the persistent determination, and the impassioned approach in delivering the activists’ odyssey shines a light on the transformational power of cinema. It spotlights the trials and triumphs of those who dare to dream of change. Zitha further praised the film as a universally relatable story of collective victory.

Artists Behind ‘Mother City’: Visionaries with a Mission

Miki Redelinghuys sees “Mother City” as a heartfelt tribute to her cherished city, Cape Town, acknowledging the agony mingled with her affection for the city. Through their camera’s lens, they have encapsulated the essence of diverse lives and aspire to instil in the viewers a vision of a democratic South Africa.

Pearlie Joubert, a renowned investigative journalist, who has honed her skills as a news producer for top broadcasting houses like ITV, Sky News, and BBC, shared her ambitions for “Mother City”. Joubert, along with Redelinghuys, birthed the film with the intent to shift the worldview of a million visitors to Cape Town. They aimed to challenge them to perceive the city and its policies from a fresh perspective. In spite of encountering formidable opposition from politicians and property developers, they remain unyielding, pledging to disrupt the existing order.

Produced by Kethiwe Ngcobo, Pearlie Joubert, and Miki Redelinghuys of Plexus Films, “Mother City” is set to make its global debut at the Sheffield Doc Fest in the UK in June, before it’s African premiere at Encounters 2024 on 20th June.

Encounters 2024: A Celebration of Documentary Storytelling

Encounters 2024, planned to take place at the Ster-Kinekor V&A Waterfront and The Labia Theatre, is projected to be a mesmerizing experience. It stands as a testament to the potency of documentary filmmaking, providing a platform for thought-provoking narratives like “Mother City”. These narratives spotlight the human spirit’s struggles and victories when confronting adversity.

What is “Mother City” about?

“Mother City” is a documentary that chronicles the journey of the Reclaim the City initiative’s struggle to transform neglected spaces in Cape Town into homes for the working class. The film captures their battles against influential political forces and property moguls over a period of five years. It also documents their journey to Barcelona, where they drew inspiration to counter Cape Town’s escalating housing problems.

Who are the filmmakers behind “Mother City”?

“Mother City” was directed by Miki Redelinghuys and Pearlie Joubert and produced by Kethiwe Ngcobo, Pearlie Joubert, and Miki Redelinghuys of Plexus Films.

Where will “Mother City” premiere?

“Mother City” will make its global debut at the Sheffield Doc Fest in the UK in June before its African premiere at Encounters 2024 on 20th June.

What is Encounters 2024?

Encounters 2024 is an international documentary extravaganza that celebrates documentary storytelling. It is slated to spotlight a diverse range of acclaimed local, African, and international films that have created a global impact. The festival is scheduled to run from 20th to 30th June 2024 and will take place at the Ster-Kinekor V&A Waterfront and The Labia Theatre.

Who are the protagonists in “Mother City”?

The Reclaim the City initiative and its warriors, led by Nkosikhona (Face) Swartbooi, are the protagonists in “Mother City”. They aim to breathe life into Cape Town’s neglected spaces, transforming them into homes and making them a beacon for the needs of the working class.

What is the aim of “Mother City”?

The aim of “Mother City” is to challenge the viewers to perceive the city and its policies from a fresh perspective. It hopes to shift the worldview of a million visitors to Cape Town and instil in them a vision of a democratic South Africa.

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