1. Do you think film can be didactic in a good way?
They say, I reiterate, THEY SAY that the Cro-Magnon man may have carved rock paintings to legitimise those images of plants and animals ‘suitable’ for eating and in other strokes depicting the poisonous and deadly ones. I am not sure if it is ‘truth’, but I found that interesting. And when those carved images danced in the flickering light of a furnace scattering lessons to the observers, would not that be the ultimate didactic method that would serve a collective memory, at least not for dogma, but a ‘knowledge’ of how to preserve and be preserved by life? The didactic, I think, in this scenario of dancing paintings against rocks is but that cautionary element added into a collective memory about what is poisonous or not. If it prevents more members of the species from eating poison mushrooms, then that member’s part is done after the 99 monkeys that ate those poisonous mushrooms. So I believe film to be an attempt to bear record of memory characteristically shared by a group of people, the meanings of which can be maintained and transformed across time.
2. What is this need to document? Of what use is it?
I always loved the idea of memory ‘in its flawed nature’ as an apparatus of compartmentizing memory, serving as a document that validates an existence in time/space of an event or phenomenon. But to further the idea, was the elucidation that each set of eyes, or any compendium of the six/seven senses as ascribed to each individual, serve a greater memory pool of a species… so I would like to think that it is essentially the calling of each breath of life that we continually deposit ‘our’ perspectives of ‘life’ into that memory bank of a species that wants to remember itself. In a way I acquiesce that life experiences itself through us, so we must try and be as accurate as ‘humanly’ possible.
3. Can film be a means of historical elucidation, an apparatus for constructing truth?
If one has to attempt explicating on past methods of thoughts regarding what constitutes ‘reality’ or ‘truth’ and ‘self-awareness’, I believe we have a lot to abandon under the influence of new intellectual paradigms which have transformed how we ‘see’ the pinnacle ‘self’ in an age of capitalist greed and self-serving social constructs and an ever evolving technological revolution which will in itself define what ‘real’ is. I would rather answer the question with a number of questions which are as follows. Is truth solely a construct, or are we to discard all notions of ‘truth-in-itself’ Schopenhauer wrote about? Can THAT truth be documented through individualised vantage points? Can one human being experience all of ‘life’ within a supreme singularity? Was the cave painting a construct of truth? Were all the other animals ready to be eaten because the viewers of the cave painting could not ‘validate’ the truth depicted? Did our species then follow the logic that the hundredth money was wrong and many depleting their own species and life on earth based on dietary addictions?
4. Is South Africa a productive field for film today? In what way? How would you describe the film scene here?
I think our industry is one of the under-rated corporate media institutions in the world, devised solely for the advance of a great variety of memory censorships and agenda which one might burn bridges for speaking about, either through film or any other tool of expression. But, one cannot deny that the country has entered a rapidly changing global mind which has transformed a number of generations in the country. The new minds, so to speak, have a lot to offer the content necessary, but on a never to be paid for basis. We will have to sell our films for peanuts to some fifteen channels brought on by digital migration, when broadcasters, who still don’t have enough money to fill their present channels, being under pressure to fill 20 channels instead of, for instance three, will have to exploit content makers who will also be overtly desperate for fiscal returns on investments. So, the traditional ways of capitalising on South African experiences are approaching a turning point for the worst, where ‘monetising truth’ will also take centre-stage. The more blatantly true your film is, their ‘construct of truth’, as you called it, will have to take the budget. Truth is silenced in nearing years of our inauguration into a world of chaos, since we have been inducted in global intergenerational tyranny.
5. What is the role of music in film?
I once read an article analysing auditory hallucinations suffered by a variety of patients exhibiting various symptom of psychosis. One observation that stayed in my mind was about a phenomenon where blind patients seemed to hear other frequencies better that the ‘sighted’ patients, possessing a heightened ability for the aural. I found that peculiarly interesting because it seemed to imply that there exists ‘a sort of pairing’ of any two senses, whose connections seemed to claim a polarity with other sense at some primordial level. I figured, perhaps ‘images’ are ‘music for the eyes’ and ‘sound’ is but ‘visions for the ear’. Perhaps, I am also speculating that when one loses their sense of taste, their sense of smell becomes heightened; even when this postulation is too immature for a mere reader and no specialist in the field of psychology.
6. What can film tell us about Marikana? What can film do with Marikana? With “democracy” after Marikana?
Oh fathers and mothers, our life’s blood… What is memory without…
What incestuous decisions and compromises our struggle stalwarts succumbed to in order for us to bloodlet and be collateral damage for those who perhaps lodged five bullets into Dulcie September’s head?
I see the strewn carcasses of our fathers at foothills to mansions breeding shafts.
And I remember Hani. Tarmac to where they can reach us most is clear, but painted with fallen stars, crimson like souls bled.
Film can make Marikana a spectacle for intellectual analysis financed by capitalist military industrial complex waged against people of colour around the world.
Or expose the expense of human mortality for fertilising the blossoming of terror on earth.
Booming economies and their ties to future disasters bred by sensationalised lusts, while paid for by visuals of dead black men being the financial piggy bank for a global media propaganda cult, will suffer a great historical amnesia concocted through film.
Film can be a lobotomizing tool in the ever pervasive project of censoring memory.
Imagine how much rationalizations and fiction were concocted to be known ‘truths’ about those commemorated days in the annals of our historic struggle for liberation.
Film will be a librarian’s transcript of edited speeches uttered by CEO’s of mining conglomerates making excuses for a system that enforces a colonialism of the future – solely based on politics of the stomach.
Film will make the proverbial act of ingesting oneself as palatable as images of dead Palestinian children edited into ‘format’ within montages of dead black male bodies and pets mangled with stories of sorrow.
But I hope, film can expose the evils of capitalism as expressed through the massacre without making society live complacently with those evils.