BANTU GIRL IN A DIGITAL WORLD

By Sihle HLOPHE

PASSIONSEED COMMUNICATIONS - as PROD

Documentary - Development 2016

Bantu Girl In A Digital World is the life-changing journey of a conflicted South African filmmaker as she retraces the Bantu Migration from West and Central Africa all the way down to Mapungubwe in Southern Africa in search of the missing pieces of her fractured Bantu identity.

    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Social issues, Art - Culture
    • Countries
    • SOUTH AFRICA
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 52 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Sihle HLOPHE
    • Producer(s)
    • Pule MOSWANE (Passion Seed Communications), Sarah BASYOUNY
    • Synopsis
    • Over 4000 years ago the Bantu Migration took place, it is arguably one of the most significant events in history. Today there are over 500 variations of the Bantu language and more than 90 million Bantu speakers across the globe; filmmaker Sihle Hlophe is one of them. Both her paternal and maternal families are of Swazi descent yet she still questions if that is her real identity. What if she has Afro-Asiatic ancestry? What if she is not who she thinks she is? It is widely believed that during the Bantu Migration, the Swazi people settled in East Africa before moving southwards and making present day Swaziland their permanent home. In this reflexive documentary, Sihle retraces the Bantu migration route all the way from West and Central Africa down to Mapungubwe in Southern Africa. Like millions of black South Africans, Sihle was deprived of the opportunity to learn about the history of the Bantu people in pre-colonial Southern Africa. Vacillating between the ‘scientifically sound’ written history of the West and the oral history of her elders, Sihle navigates numerous ethical and cultural landmines to find answers to the questions that have been haunting her for years. The film’s provocative and critical approach leads Sihle to exciting new discoveries, unsolvable mysteries and disappointing dead ends. The marriage of symbolism, satirical images of ‘deep dark Africa’, archival material and stop frame animation complement the deeply personal and subjective video diary style of the film. Sihle consciously rejects the widely accepted Western version of Bantu history and uses oral history, indigenous knowledge systems and the notion of collective memory to piece together the fractured history of her people.
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