By Alyssia Birjalal
“Back of the Moon”, the film that won Best SA Feature Film at the Durban International Film Festival in 2019 has bagged yet another award.
It recently won the Best International Narrative feature Award at the 16th Montreal International Black Film Festival and director Angus Gibson is ecstatic.
Starring Richard Lukunku, Moneoa Moshesh, Lemogang Tsipa and Thomas Gumede and produced by William Kentridge and Anant Singh, the film plays out in a single night in 1958.
It’s a brutal tale of gangsters pitted against gangsters.
It’s a hotbed of political activity with a fight against police as the Sophiatown community are forced out of their homes – but amid all this is a love story.
For Gibson, making this film was a form of redemption for a project he received flack for more than 30 years ago.
In a past interview with IOL, Gibson said: “I returned to Sophiatown, where we explored the good and bad of the place.
“It’s not about the removal, it’s about the people. The centre character is an intellectual, but a gangster.
“There is a darkness to the film that was not there in the documentary.
“I suppose on the one hand it is a gangster narrative, on the other hand, it is a love story and there is a strange brew,” said Gibson.
The Montreal International Black Film Festival is the largest Canadian film festival entirely dedicated to black realities from around the world.
It aims to offer the public the most spectacular productions in black cinema and debate the great cultural, social, and socio-economic issues facing society.
“I am really happy that this subtitled film about an obscure moment in South African history found a responsive audience on this North American platform,” said Gibson.
Executive producer Anant Singh said: “We are very proud that “Back of the Moon” won the award.
It has given an international audience a window into the vibrance of Sophiatown and an insight into the South African experience of the 1950’s,” said Singh.
“Back of the Moon” is currently available on Showmax on DStv.