South African Films@ The Goethe-Institut


The Goethe-Institut will screen Soldiers of the Rock (2000) directed by Norman Maake at its premises, 119 Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg, at 18:45 for 19:00 on Wednesday 20 September. Entrance is free. The screening of the film is part of the South African Films initiative of the Goethe-Institut. A discussion on the film will follow the screening.

Soldiers of the Rock is the first film to explore the world of mining in South Africa and was produced and directed by students of the SA School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) in 2000.

The film started out as a final-year project for 21-year-old film student Norman Maake, and grew into a full-length feature film that has been seen and praised around the world. This film tells the story of Vuyo, a recently graduated business student who takes a job at a mine to see the world in which his father worked. Deep in the mines, Vuyo learns that, despite the advent of freedom above ground, little has changed in the daily lives of the miners.

Decreasing gold reserves threaten the mine’s continued existence, forcing the miners to make
a decision about their future. The spirit of the mine, who has claimed the lives of countless
miners, including Vuyo’s father, offers a mythical backdrop to the political and economic
themes of the film.

Soldiers of the Rock was included in the official selections of a host of international film
festivals, including Tribeca and Cannes in 2004. The film won a special jury award at the 2003
Apollo Film Festival, a jury award and most promising director mention at the 2003 Cape Town
World Cinema Festival, and a screenplay award at Los Angeles’ Pan African Film Festival in

Hailed as one of South Africa’s hottest young talents, Maake is currently employed as a
commercials director by Terraplane films in Johannesburg.


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