An insightful new documentary about the Afrikaans theatre industry has its world premiere at the 25th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival.
Reflections in a broken mirror follows up on the well-received A Feast in Time of Plague which ran at Encounters in 2020. This new film explores Afrikaans theatre’s ability to reflect the zeitgeist of the post-Apartheid Afrikaner and its struggle to survive in the new South Africa.
The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival runs from 22 June until 2 July 2023.
Created by the same team of writer, producer and director Amber Fox-Martin and co-director Philip Theron, Reflections in a broken mirror tells the story of plays that were innovative, cathartic and existential in the new South Africa. It follows two generations of theatre makers, and their productions that reflect on themes of identity, language and the legacy of apartheid.
The 80-minute film charts an historical journey using fascinating archive material and interviews with luminaries from the theatre sector, discussing landmark productions such as Boklied, Ek, Anna van Wyk, and Balbesit among numerous others.
The stellar list of interviewees for the film include: Alexa Strachan, Antoinette Kellerman, Braam du Toit, Diane de Beer, Hugo Theart, Jaco Bouwer, Karen Meiring, Marthinus Basson, Martie Meiring , Pieter Fourie, Saartjie Botha, Temple Hauptfleisch and Wessel Pretorius.
Original music composition for the film was designed by Jannous Aukema, and features live recordings by musicians Babette Viljoen, Babette Le Roux and Petrus Coetzee. Reflections in a broken mirror is presented in association with Stellenbosch University History Department as part of Amber Fox-Martin’s Master’s research.
“Our previous film, A Feast in Time of Plague, was inspired by the stories of Marthinus Basson during my time as a student at Stellenbosch University,” says Fox-Martin. “The film investigated a genre of work that challenged theatre-making norms, and pushed boundaries in the apartheid system.”
“This film completes the narrative from A Feast in Time of Plague, reflecting on the journey of these Afrikaans theatre makers in the new South Africa. I felt it would be interesting to engage with the next chapter of history, bringing it up to the present day, with a sense of looking to the future. Reflections in a broken mirror is our ode to the giant talents of South African theatre, while hoping to document a part of our history.”
Reflections in a broken mirror will be screened at the 25th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival which runs from 22 June until 2 July 2023.
“Encounters is delighted that Reflections in a broken mirror joins our stellar selection of documentaries from South Africa and around the world, in celebration of the Festival’s 25th edition. The film delicately frames the conditions created through South Africa’s apartheid-era cultural policies; in the process revealing untold stories and documentary’s power to interest and educate us. We congratulate the filmmakers on their world premiere at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival.” - Mandisa Zitha, Encounters Festival Director
The following cinemas will be screening the 2023 Encounters’ line-up:
Ster-Kinekor V&A Waterfront
The Labia Theatre
The Bertha House Mowbray
The Bertha Movie House Isivivana Community Centre Khayelitsha.
The Zone @Rosebank
Tickets cost R80
Cape Town: Labia Theatre Cinema 1 Friday 23 June 6.30pm W/P + Q&A (tickets - R80/screening)
Johannesburg: The Zone @Rosebank 3 Thursday 29 June 7.30pm (tickets- R80/screening)
For more information, visit:
Twitter handle: @EncountersDoc
Instagram handle: @encountersdoc
The producers of Reflections in a Broken Mirror extend special thanks to (in alphabetical order):
Alet Pretorius, Braam du Toit, Hans van der Veen, Hugo Theart, Marthinus Basson, Nardus Engelbrecht, Peter Morey, Pieter Fourie, and Prof. Vivian Bickford-Smith.
Reflections in a Broken Mirror was made in association with the Stellenbosch University History Department and is presented in as part of Amber Fox-Martin’s Master of Arts degree in the History Faculty.