Thursday, May 24, 2007


alt film will be out of circulation, with immediate effect, until August 2007. This follows from a decision by our host, Zula Sound Bar, to not open shop on Sundays during winter, due to low attendance numbers over the past few weeks.

We will attempt to find an alternative venue for alt film in the meantime, and attempt to keep the show running during the next few months, until the numbers pick up again at Zula. However, there isn't a new home for alt film yet, so until further notice we will not do any screenings.

Thank you to everyone who's helped us with contributions, assistance and attendance over the past two years, it has been an amazing adventure so far!

Until later,

alt film

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


With no doubt left about summer being over, we are glad to bring to you a selection of longer films in May for you to warm up to.

During the first three weeks we will be screening documentaries from the 2006 Tri-Continental Film Festival, dealing with a number of socio-economical topics.

For the last Sunday of May we have a delightfully freaky scary film for you to bite your nails to – the 1994 version of La Machine.

And in all four May screenings there will be a healthy dose of short films to keep you entertained.

A big Thank You to:

Zula Sound Bar at 194 Long Street, Cape Town, South Africa

7-9 pm every Sunday

Free entry

Warm and cold drinks provided by the bar, and food by the restaurant

see you there!

alt film

alt film was established to collect and screen* film being made by creative South Africans today, as well as work that most powerfully incorporates and describes the inevitable evolution of the medium.

  • ps if you know someone who wants to receive this info in a monthly newsletters, let them send us an email to with “YES PLEASE!” in the subject line.

The short version: May 2007

6 May: Bushman’s Secret (Doccie)

13 May: Favela Rising (Doccie)

20 May: Mardi Gras: Made in China (Doccie)

27 May: La Machine (Thriller)

6 May 2007


Dir: Rehad Desai

South Africa 2006

64 mins


When South African filmmaker Rehad Desai travels to the Kalahari to investigate global interest in ancient Bushmen knowledge, he meets Jan van der Westhuizen, a fasctinating Khomani San traditional healer.

Jan’s struggle to live close to nature is hampered by centuries of colonial exploitation of the San Bushmen and of their land. Unable to hunt and gather, the Khomani now live in a state of poverty that threatens to see the last of this community forever.

One plant could make all the difference. Hoodia, a cactus used by Bushmen for centuries, has caught the attention of a giant pharmaceutical company. It now stands to decide the fate of the Khomani San.

Bushman’s Secret features breathtaking footage of the Kalahari landscape, and exposes us to a world where modernity collides with ancient ways, at a time when each has, strangely, come to rely on the other.

13 May 2007


Dirs: Matt Mochary and Jeff Zimbalist

USA/Brazil 2005

80 mins


Favela Rising documents a man and a movement, a city divided and a favela united. Haunted by an infamous police massacre in his community in one of Rio de Janeiro’s most violent slums, and sick of the perpetual violence that plagues his people, former drug-trafficker, Anderson Sá, turns social revolutionary.

Through music, the rhythms of the street, and Afro-Brazilian dance he rallies the community of Vigário Geral, to counteract the violent oppression enforced by teenage drug armies and sustained by corrupt police, and forges a movement that brings hope to the ghettos and its forgotten youth.

But just as collective mobility is overcoming all odds and Anderson’s grassroots Afro Reggae movement is at the height of its success, a tragic event threatens to silence the movement forever.

Favela Rising shows how the music and culture of Brazil's underclass transform into a catalyst for grassroots social change.

New York Latino Film Festival, 2005 – Best Documentary

Cinema Paradise Film Festival, 2005 – Best Documentary

Woodstock Film Festival, 2005 – Best Editing

Tulipanes Latino Art and Film Festival, 2005 – Best of Show

Roxbury Film Festival, 2005 – Audience Favourite Award

Sidewalk Moving Pictures Festival – 2005 – Audience Choice Award

20 May 2007


Dir: David Redmon

USA 2005

74 mins


Mardi Gras: Made in China follows the "bead trail" from the factory in China to Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, poignantly exposing the inequities of globalization.

First-time director David Redmon cleverly illuminates the clash of cultures by juxtaposing American excess and consumer ignorance against the harsh life of the Chinese factory worker. The film confronts both cultural and economic globalism by humanizing the commodity chain from China to the United States.

Redmon follows the stories of four teenage women workers in the largest Mardi Gras bead factory in the world, providing insights into their economic realities, their self-sacrifice, and dreams of a better life, and the severe discipline imposed by living and working in a factory compound.

Interweaving factory life with Mardi Gras festivities, the film opens the blind eye of consumerism by visually introducing workers and festival-goers to each other.

27 May 2007

La Machine

Dir: François Dupeyron

France 1994

96 mins


Marc Lacroix (Gérard Depardieu) is a psychiatrist, a student of the brain, with a rocky marriage, a mistress, and a ten-year-old son. He also has a secret laboratory where he's built a machine he thinks will allow him to penetrate the mind of any person hooked up to the machine with him. He tests it with Zyto, a psychopath who has killed three women. The machine fails and exchanges the men's brains. Zyto passes himself off as Marc, and Marc (now in Zyto's body) escapes from the asylum to the flat of his mistress. She tries to warn Marc's wife, exposing herself to Zyto. All are now in grave danger. Can Lacroix find a way to get Zyto back to the machine before irreversible damage is done?

John Woo directed a fantastic little masterpiece a few years later, called "Face/off" in Hollywood, with some obvious resemblances in the plot.