Mama Goema: The Cape Town Beat in Five Movements is a multinational documentary film by Ángela Ramirez (Colombia), Sara Gouveia (Portugal) and Calum MacNaughton (South Africa) that will screen at the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, which runs from 9 to 26 June.
Cape Town musicians guide a journey to the beat at the heart of the Mother City and a primal rhythm named Goema. With indigenous Khoi-San roots, colonial influences and shaped by the city’s slave history, Goema’s blueprint lies in Cape Town’s carnival culture.
It is from these annual festivities that new and exciting variations have emerged. These include defiant Rock sounds from the 1980s that overcame barriers imposed by Apartheid as well as healing Jazz sounds in the wake of the country’s democratic rebirth.
Despite this, Goema has yet to fulfill its potential to unite a city and evoke collective pride. It remains a word that is misunderstood and in the process of discovering itself as the common denominator of a culture defined by diversity.
Mama Goema charts the evolution of Goema through composer Mac McKenzie and multi-instrumentalist Hilton Schilder. Having traced the course of Goema’s history, we see it take a bold step into the future.