We are proud to present a moving and memorable film, which is one of the most talked-about in South Africa today.
Otelo Burning is a 'growing-up' tale of a group of youngsters who are lifted out of the drudgery of their racist-ridden lives -- and the dangers of political factionalism -- by the exhilarating joys of surfing.
It is the debut feature film of Sara Blecher, who has made many noteworthy television and documentary films. Otelo Burning was the Opening Film of the Durban International Film Festival, and since then, has won acclaim at nearly 50 top festivals. It will soon be publicly released in 20 cities around the world.
The movie was in development for over seven years, and came out of an extensive workshop process conducted with a group of children in Lamontville, near Durban, who went through many of the experiences described in the film.
Otelo Buthelezi, his younger brother Ntwe and best friend New Year enjoy being in the community swimming pool of their home town, but dare not venture further. It's when they meet Mandla Modise that they are introduced to the excitements of the deep waters and the thrill of surfing.
The water in many ways, is a symbol of the racist barriers they face in their lives, more so as surfing was traditionally a white man's sport. Otelo's exceptional surfing talent attracts the attention of Kurt Struely who encourages him to partake in a competition, which he wins, earning a big monetary award.
He is also happy to have the love of Dezi, New Year's sister. But while he's away for the contest, the rival political party attacks his hometown, inflicting a cruel death. When he returns, he finds that he has been cheated by the friend whom he trusted. Like his Shakespearean namesake, Otelo has to choose between the success and respect that he has earned, and the need to wreak revenge. There is a big price that he has to pay for his newly gained freedom. To give a larger dimension to the story, the cataclysmal events all happen on the same day in 1989 that Nelson Mandela was released from his long incarceration in jail.
Otelo Burning won 13 nominations at the South African National Awards. The lush cinematography and thought-provoking musical scores are as striking as the arresting performances of the cast in this unconventional story, which harrowingly portrays the angst of the South African situation.
To celebrate the screening of one of their most talked-about contemporary films, the newly-arrived Ambassador of South Africa to Thailand HE Ms. Robina P. Marks, will serve delectable South African wine and food.
Don't miss an unforgettable film, in our Contemporary World Film Series.
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