OFFICIAL SELECTION 2018
Sew The Winter To My Skin
DIRECTOR : Jahmil X.T. Qubeka
COUNTRY : South Africa
YEAR : 2018
TIME : 131min
SK Nouveau 5 | 16 Oct @ 8.15pm
A cinematic ballad of indigenous outlaw John Kepe, Sew the Winter to My Skin explores the true myth of a legendary black rebel folk hero in mid 20th century South Africa, a time that foreshadowed Apartheid, one of the most viciously racist political regimes in human history.
In the rural Great Karoo region, the bandit John Kepe terrorises white farmers, stealing their livestock and supplies to give back to his impoverished communities. General Botha, an embittered World War II veteran, becomes obsessed with the capture of the notorious Kepe and leads an epic manhunt for him through the mountains, where he is rumoured to occupy a mysterious cave. Evading capture for over a decade, outwitting Botha and the settlers, John Kepe’s raids become ever more brazen and his escapes from the authorities ever more daring.
The outlaw’s legend grows in the hearts and minds of the poor and marginalised indigenous population, and the self-proclaimed “Samson of the Boschberg Mountains” emerges as both an enigma to his pursuers and a romantic object of adoration for his fellow victims of oppression.
With John Kepe’s very existence representing a threat to the inevitable march of colonial displacement, the hunt to capture and kill the outlaw reaches a desperate crescendo, and his mythological status as a hero and symbol of resistance is cemented forever.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s body of work has spanned over 15 years, covering a broad spectrum of disciplines. His documentary and feature film work has received accolades, awards and critical acclaim at prestigious international film festivals including Toronto International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, London Film Festival, and Pusan International Film Festival, amongst others. In 2005 an AIDS documentary he directed for Sesame Street won a prestigious Peabody Award in America. Among his many successes, Jahmil was the 2014 South African Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year in the Film category.
His second feature film Of Good Report (2013) has the inauspicious reputation of being the first feature film banned in Post-Apartheid South Africa. The first African film in Official Competition at the London Film Festival, it went on to win the BAFTA LA Best Feature Prize at the Pan African Film Festival and numerous awards at the Africa Movie Academy Awards including Best Feature. It also received an unprecedented seven awards at the South African Film and Television Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.
Jahmil is currently working on several directorial projects, including the gritty South African boxing story Knuckle City which has just completed production and the large-scale Hell’s Bells – about the sinking of the SS Mendi.