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SFIFF ’12 Preview: Poor Family Struggles While Country Hosts World Cup in Doc “Meanwhile in Mamelodi”

SFIFF '12 Preview: Poor Family Struggles While Country Hosts World Cup in Doc "Meanwhile in Mamelodi"

The 55th San Francisco International Film Festival unveiled its lineup earlier today to reveal the following films profiled in S&A: 2011 SXSW Jury Award winner Gimme The Loot, the French comedy The Untouchables, The Double Steps (which I reviewed HERE), the Sheldon Candis drama LUV, the French/German drama Sleeping Sickness, and Andrea Arnold‘s Wuthering Heights.

A documentary we have yet to profile, Meanwhile in Mamelodi, will premiere in the U.S. during the festival, which runs 4/19 through 5/3. Meanwhile, directed by Benjamin Kahlmeyer and produced by Boris Frank, centers on a poor South African family struggling to make ends meet while the raucous event festivities of the 2010 World Cup are taking place near their town, bringing hope and joy to their community.

Here’s a synopsis from the festival’s website:

Set against the raucous backdrop of the 2010 World Cup, Meanwhile in Mamelodi is a beautifully crafted portrait of a place and one family’s daily life inside it. The Mtsweni family lives in the Pretoria township of the title, in the district known as Extension 11. Their world is a ramshackle collection of corrugated tin dwellings and makeshift shops, open sewers littered with debris and red-earth rectangles filled with soccer-playing children and teens. Seventeen-year-old Mosquito is one of those kids. As she studies for math tests, flirts with boys and shops with her best friend, her father Steven prepares his “tuck shop” for the promise of cash-flush tourists. Meanwhile, his wife struggles with mental illness. The Mtswenis’ lives unfold as the Cup brings new hope to the ravaged town. Extension 11 buzzes with the drone of vuvuzelas, signaling a new South Africa has arrived. Despite the poverty around her, Mosquito insists this is not her parents’ country. She is the face of South Africa’s future—part of “a new generation free to do all things.” Mosquito’s story is told with tremendous musicality—a sense of rhythm and vibration permeates each scene. Through a rich color palette of turquoise, gold and red, director Benjamin Kahlmeyer imbues his frame with texture and life, illustrating a potent hope emerging from the rubble.

Watch the trailer below.

Meanwhile in Mamelodi (2011) – US-Trailer – Documentary from Boris Frank on Vimeo.

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