Shot entirely on location during August and September 2007 and taking advantage of digital filmmaking camera and editing technology, the 4-part mini-series Noah’s Ark is a story about the bonds of love that link a family and the secrets that threaten to destroy it. The series will broadcast on SABC1 Mzansi Fo Sho from Thursday 2 June at 8.30pm.
The look and feel of the story reflects the sophisticated, slick and urbane feel of the world of northern Johannesburg, with the contrasting greys and browns of the city centre and the street children standing at corners with cardboard signs that highlight how poverty is never far away from the sheltered opulence of northern Jo’burg dwellers.
Noah’s Ark stars acclaimed local actors Patrick Shai, Nakedi Ribane, Koketso Mojela, Moshidi Motshegwa, Susan Coetzer and Antonio Summerton (in one of his last acting roles).
The gripping story follows an expat Xhosa doctor who loves his family and wife. But he can’t shake the memory of the beautiful Afrikaans girl he once loved 30 years ago. And, when the love child he never knew suddenly turns up in his life, the past and present converge in an emotional collision that will challenge everything he’s ever known. Can the secret past of a man come back to destroy his present?
Noah’s Ark is relevant today because it tells the story of how South African families are redefining their lives within an ever-changing, sweet-and-sour post-apartheid South Africa. Once the political struggle was won, many South African families didn’t know how to live in peace. Moses and his wife are on the verge of divorce, but they still love each other. His two daughters find themselves lost in a new South Africa of seemingly endless opportunities and Noah, his lost son, is in search of an identity that he never knew was his. And through all of this, Noah’s character is the metaphor of the power of family love and his symbolic ‘ARK’ represents family, starting over, dreams, hopes, the past, the future and, finally, promise.
Through six strong characters, Noah’s Ark explores dramatic issues that many South African families face; issues of grieving, of midlife crises, of hopelessness and of the hope that shines strong through even the darkest times.
Music is an important device in the story. The overall feel of subtle sophistication is enhanced by the jazz inspired soundtrack, adding cool punctuation to this already mature and subtle story. The jazz soundtrack also highlights the journey of our protagonist Moses, who is a self-professed jazz fundi, combining his love of international jazz with his childhood influences by the Sophiatown era in which he grew up and his later appreciation of South African greats while he was abroad; greats such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Moses Khumalo, and Hugh Masekela.