New local film Barakat celebrates life, culture and the importance of family

Vinette Ebrahim in Barakat.
Vinette Ebrahim in Barakat.
Photo: Instagram/@barakatmovie
  • From director Amy Jephta and producer Ephraim Gordon comes the new local movie, Barakat.
  • In Cape Malay culture, a barakat is a bag or plate with cakes, fruits and sweets shared among friends and neighbours.
  • South Africa's first Muslim film in Afrikaans asks the question: How does a family move on after the death of a father?
  • The film is scheduled for release in cinemas in May 2021.

From director Amy Jephta and producer Ephraim Gordon comes the new local movie, Barakat.

The film stars veteran actress Vinette Ebrahim as matriarch Aisha Davids, a widow who has to preserve the peace between four sons struggling to come to terms with the death of their father, two years later.

Zunaid, Zaid, Yaseen and Nur return to their family home to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr (or Labarang, as it's called in Cape Town), the celebration that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadaan. They've never dealt with their father's death and the void he has left behind. Each son's unprocessed pain manifests in constant familial conflict, saddening their mother as she tries to move on with her own life.

Joey Rasdien, Mortimer Williams, Keeno-Lee Hector and Danny Ross play the roles of the four sons. Other cast members include Quanita Adams, Bonnie Mbuli, Leslie Fong and June van Merch.

Barakat, an Arabic word meaning blessing, is a story about celebrating life, culture and the importance of family.

The movie was filmed in Lansdowne and Athlone and features the local community as well as one of the local mosques.

Through their production company PaperJet Films, Amy and Ephraim aim to tell stories that change the narratives around the Cape Flats in South Africa and shift the focus away from the violence with which these communities are often associated.

It was important for both filmmakers to depict the Cape Muslim community in a positive light. Ephraim says: "The Cape is a melting pot of cultures, with an exciting diversity in black communities, and we wanted to show people that regardless of faith they can watch the film and proudly say, 'This is our reality.'"


Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht

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