International Women’s Month: Leading Ladies In Film

It is with great honour that through Retro Afrika Bioscope, we restore and re-release once discarded South African films to a new generation of audiences worldwide. In light of Women’s Month, it is only appropriate that we acknowledge and commend the talented women of the time who played such significant roles in these films, and for their contribution to the development of the South African film industry.

“Joe Bullet” [1971] is about a man [Joe] who helps save his soccer team when faced with a series of onslaughts from a mysterious gangster a week before the championship final. Joe will have to battle against villainous henchmen, escape booby-trap bombs and bring his martial arts expertise to the fore in order to survive an attack from a deadly assassin. Not only does he have to save his team, but that of his beautiful love interest, Beauty – played by the multi-award winning Abigail Kubeka. The odds will be stacked against him, but he will  fight with all his might to save the day.

Joe Bullet

Joe Bullet [1971]

“Rich Girl” [1985] portrays a young, beautiful lady who comes from a wealthy family, however; with this, comes many consequences. Her father hires a highly trained bodyguard to protect her, but she refuses to believe that she needs any protection at all. One day, his worst fears come true, and the two of them are kidnapped by a pair of thugs, but the unsuspecting crooks have no clue as to what the bodyguard is capable of, and are soon to learn the error of their ways.

Rich Girl Poster

Rich Girl [1985]

“Hostage” [1985] – one of the most captivating films – depicts three men who decide to blackmail a young local businessman by the name of Ben, in the hope of using one of his warehouses in the harbour to store a shipment of drugs coming in soon. Ben refuses to cooperate, until his wife Thuli is kidnapped by the crooks. This changes everything for him, as he will do whatever it takes to save his wife.

Hostage Poster

Hostage [1985]

 “Thunder Valley” [1985] tells the story of three friends, John, Sipho and Thandi, who spend the summer holidays at Uncle Joshua’s cottage. Despite their best efforts to stay out of trouble, the three manage to encounter a group of crooks hiding out in a supposed abandoned shack on the river. However, one of the crooks decides to join forces with the youths to save the day and defeat the remaining crooks who are holding a large cache of stolen weapons.

Thunder Valley Poster

Thunder Valley [1985]

If you haven’t see these films yet, we encourage you to do so. Despite the trying circumstances of the time, so much talent and effort went into these films and it is important that this is recognized.

 

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International Women’s Day: Empowering Women in Film

In honor of Women’s month, it is important to reflect on the importance of women’s empowerment and to acknowledge some of the many struggles that women were faced with. There are a wide variety of films which depict this theme, and we encourage everyone to watch, learn and enjoy!

“Thelma and Louise” [1991] – one of the world’s “must see” women-empowerment films, is an ultimate classic about two women who decide to break out of their societal roles as women by hitting the road and embarking on a new journey. Their adventure, however, turns into a flight when Louise kills a man who threatens to rape Thelma. They decide to go to Mexico, but soon they are hunted by American police.

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Thelma and Louise [1991]

The film has many themes: Laughter, sadness, fear, and endurance. But overall, it gives viewers a feeling of happiness and comfort. It reflects on the importance of a strong bond between two women, and their efforts to help and love one another at their darkest of times. Women’s month reminds us to love, value, and respect all women, no matter their race, ethnicity or social class.

“Yesterday” [2004] is a South African film which captures a Zulu woman’s journey as she discovers that she is HIV positive. She must deal with consequences of her illness, but her singular motivation is to see that Beauty, her five year old daughter, enrolls in school the next fall. This is a significant and inspiring film, which portrays a woman in distress as she struggles to balance her relationship with her daughter and husband, and of course her newly diagnosed illness. Despite this, she chooses to remain positive and strong for her family. Even in the worst situation, her prime goal is to live long enough to see her daughter go to school.

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Yesterday [2004]

The film portrays a woman’s strength, courage, and bravery, and is a role model to all mothers and wives.

International Women’s Month reminds us to lead by example as strong women and the importance of women empowerment.