Luscious Dosi questions social perspectives in Across the Colour Bar


Writer, director and producer Luscious Dosi completed his Honours degree in
writing and directing for single and multi-camera in 2012 at the South African
School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA) in Johannesburg
where he is now employed as a lecturer in television, while also working on
numerous film projects.

Most notably, the film he completed in his Honours year, Across the Colour Bar,
won Best Documentary at the 2014 Jozi Film Festival. In a searching and
fearless manner, Dosi tells the story of Ntabiseng Hibbert, a white woman who
has lived in the township of Katlehong since the mid-90s.

After suffering years of abuse from her husband, Ntabiseng, scared and
vulnerable, fled and settled in Katlehong, where ironically, she found a place of
safety where she could immerse herself in the local culture and language.
“When I visited Katlehong as a child I saw Ntabiseng but it was only when I got
the go-ahead for the documentary that I approached her,’ says Dosi. “She’s a
humble woman, and was shocked that I wanted to talk to her. But I sat down
with her, we spoke and I got to know her.’

Dosi recorded her story, started writing a transcript and transformed that into a
script which resulted in his 34-minute, winning documentary in which he
intimately fleshes out Ntabiseng’s existence, her joys and sorrows, lending
powerful structure to a story that does indeed transcend the colour bar.

Comments the filmmaker: “We spent about three months on research and shot
the doccie on the Sony F3 and Canon 5D in four weeks. It was often an
emotional journey when she talked about her 12-year-old daughter Melissa,
whom Ntabiseng’s family has never met as Melissa was fathered by a black
Inspired by African cinema from childhood, Dosi grew up in a time when now
defunct community cinemas such as Sans Souci in Kliptown in Soweto and the
Avalon Theatre in Fordsburg dazzled him with productions from African countries.

There he came across movies by Ousmane Sembene, the first film director from
an African country to achieve international recognition, best known for movies
like Moolaade, which Dosi regards as inspirational.

These moviegoing experiences have prompted him to tell stories with a strong
human element, compelling him to tell tales of emotional suffering and prejudice
which are ultimately transcended by strength and determination.

“I love emotional stories that touch on humanity and am inspired by films from
the Middle East, such as A Separation,’ adds Dosi. “I need to be moved, I
believe that that is what film should be about, changing people’s perspectives.
We are working on changing society and social perceptions through the
language of film.’

Across the Colour Bar has been entered in the Encounters International
Documentary Film Festival and the International Black Film Festival in San

Dosi’s next documentary, funded by the National Film and Video Foundation
(NFVF), is in its production stage and shooting will commence in April.


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