Someone To Blame – The Ahmed Timol Inquest has been awarded a 2019 South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) for Best Documentary Short.
Director Enver Samuel, in his documentary Someone to Blame The Ahmed Timol Inquest, weaves a compelling narrative that draws on the 2017 re-opening of the inquiry on the untimely death and brutal murder of the young Ahmed Timol in 1972. The young activist died at the hands of the security police at the John Vorster Police Station in downtown Johannesburg, framed by the police as a suicide at the time.
Samuel, an acclaimed filmmaker, builds on Indians Can’t Fly (20) a previous documentary that deals with Timol’s life, his detention and his death. For the sequel, he uses newly recorded interviews and the court procedures and he contextualises the new developments by using archival material and graphical representations. Samuel constructs an intimate overview of an event that sets the scene for the families and friends of many other South Africans who died in detention during the apartheid years to also pursue the truth of what happened to their beloved ones.
It has been argued that as a result of the massification of the media, documentary films have become an important source to create discourse in the public domain as a way to simulate discussion and debate on the social, political and economic challenges in present day society.
Samuel’s film has created an important addition to the existing archive and will serve to preserve heritage that South Africa is not proud of, but that must be acknowledged by all South Africans as we endeavour to build a new, just society.