Mlungu Wam to hit cinema screens

Cast members of Mlungu Wam, from left, are Kamva Jonas Raziya, Chumisa Cosa, Nosipho Mtebe and Sandi Shandu.

The much-anticipated local horror satire film, Mlungu Wam, will be coming home this October, fresh from its run at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Mlungu Wam, co-written and produced by Langa born Babalwa Baartman, is screening locally until Saturday November 5.

The eerie psychological thriller is 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.

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

“Watching a lot of horror movies, I was struck by how few films in the genre touch on the ordinary everyday horrors in our society,” said director and co-producer Jenna Cato Bass.

“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 Bass.

“We chose to use the genre to highlight the ongoing inequality in South Africa and the impact it has on our family structures,” said Baartman.

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

The film will be screened from today, Friday October 21, with a Cinewav viewing experience at various venues around Cape Town, including the Castle, Isivivana, The Labia and Spier. The Cinewav app allows users to watch a film on the big screen while streaming the audio through their smartphones and headphones.

There will also be a night market, curated by Inxwala Slow Market and featuring small, black-owned businesses, before and after the screenings. Tickets are available on Webtickets.