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Local film being showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival film being shown locally

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Umlungu Wam, a horror satire, will be screened in Langa and Khayelitsha this coming weekend.PHOTO: supplied
Umlungu Wam, a horror satire, will be screened in Langa and Khayelitsha this coming weekend.PHOTO: supplied

Isivivana Centre in Khayelitsha and Bridges For Music in Langa will be two of the areas to screen a local horror satire film dubbed uMlungu Wam.

The film, fresh from its run at the Toronto International Film Festival, was screened for the first time in the country on Thursday 20 October and will run until Saturday 5 November.

The film is an eerie psychological thriller about Tsidi, a single mother who is forced to move in with her estranged mother, Mavis, a live-in domestic worker caring obsessively for her catatonic white ‘Madam’ for the past 30 years.

Tsidi blames her mother for never being around for her or her brother, as Mavis was always obsessively devoted to Madam’s white family.

As Tsidi tries to heal her family, however, the sinister spectre of ‘Madam’ begins to stir.

Co-writer and producer Babalwa Baartman, who hails from Langa, said the film tackles issues of inequality by looking at the relationship between the mother, her child and the grandchild in that setup.

She said they chose to use the genre to highlight the ongoing inequality in the country and its impact on family structures.

“The story follows Tsidi’s point of view and her conscious efforts at breaking cycles of generational traumas while carving a better future for her daughter, using the small amount of access that she has. Through all her efforts, Tsidi feels stuck, as though she is falling into the same cycle, despite her knowledge, consciousness and plan of action,” said Baartman.

“Finding herself in a vulnerable situation, she is forced to tackle these issues head-on at the potential cost of her mental health and survival,” she added.

Director and co-producer Jenna Cato Bass said watching a lot of horror movies, she was struck by how few films in the genre touched on the ordinary everyday horrors in society.

“I’m referring to the horrors of poverty, disease, homelessness, landlessness, racism, disempowerment and oppression. The horror genre can be an immensely powerful tool for both social critique and thought-provoking entertainment,” said Cato Bass.

In Langa the film will be screened tomorrow (28 October) while in Khayelitsha on Saturday 29 October.

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