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Find knife-edge reality in SA doccie festival


Find knife-edge reality in SA doccie festival

The festival will take place online and in select cinemas until June 20

Features writer, film and series reviewer

The 23rd edition of the Encounters SA International Documentary Film Festival goes online with a few select screenings in physical cinemas for yet another demonstration of the ingenious, medium-pushing power of documentary filmmakers to examine a variety of engaging and relevant issues. Here is a selection of the highlights.


Danish director Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s moving and empathetic film combines rare archive with animation to tell the fascinating and all too human story of a protagonist whose life story is one of tragedy, displacement and a lifelong search for identity in a world that’s been hostile to him for most of his life. Amin is an Afghan refugee, whose family was uprooted from their homeland during the war with the Soviet Union in the 1980s and who made a long, difficult and often dangerous journey that eventually saw him in Denmark. As he prepares to marry his Danish husband, Amin opens up to the filmmakers about his story and the added challenges that his homosexuality posed to his already dangerous journey. The use of animation is a smart device that allows Rasmussen to convey Amin’s changing perceptions through his eyes as they were happening. It takes us into his psyche as his life is upturned through the chaotic consequences of the tumultuous events that swept him and his family up and set them on their often terrifying path to freedom. Winner of this year’s Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, it has three screenings at the Labia in Cape Town...

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