September 2018 is Heritage Month in South Africa. During this time we celebrate our cultural differences and the diversity of our beliefs and traditions.
We’ve selected three proudly Mzansi films and series, just released on Showmax, that speak of our identity and resilient spirit as South Africans.
Premise: Khetha (Thato DH Dhladla) is a black prison warder guarding black inmates in Pretoria Central Prison’s gallows near the end of Apartheid. His job is further complicated when his estranged father (Khulu Skenjana) is transferred to Death Row.
Why you should watch: 1. It’s in the running for the Oscars in 2019, having won Best Foreign Film at the Oscar-qualifying LA Shorts. 2. Director Zwelethu Radebe is a talent to watch and a Mail & Guardian 200 Young South African selection for 2018.
Accolades: The Hangman’s awards tally is already in double digits, and includes Best South African Short Film at the Durban, Jozi and Shnit film festivals, and Best African Short Film at Zanzibar International Film Festival, among other accolades.
The Queen S3, express
Premise: Connie Ferguson is back for a third season in her career-defining role as trophy-wife-turned-matriarch-
Why you should watch: Connie and Shona Ferguson. Rami Chuene. Themba Ndaba. Sello Maake Ka-Ncube. Thembsie Matu. Just don’t get too attached; you can never be sure who the show will kill off next…
Accolades: Thembsie Matu and Rami Chuene are competing against each other to be named South Africa’s favourite actress at this year’s DStv Viewers Choice Awards. The Queen was also nominated for three 2018 SAFTAs.
Shepherds and Butchers
Premise: Oscar-nominee Steve Coogan (Philomena) plays a lawyer trying to prevent a prison hangman from being hanged himself.
Why you should watch: 1. It will give you lots to say the next time the death penalty comes up as a solution to South Africa’s challenges. 2. Oliver Schmitz is one of South Africa’s top directors, responsible for classics like Mapantsula and the Oscar-shortlisted Life, Above All.
Accolades: Oliver Schmitz won Best Director at the SAFTAs last year.
Want to see what else we’re listening to and watching? Click here!