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Betty Wolpert, Ellen Kuzwayo, Blanche Tsimatsima

Tsiamelo - A Place of Goodness

Director Betty Wolpert, Ellen Kuzwayo, Blanche Tsimatsima
Edition 1984
55' - 1983 - Documentary
TSIAMELO was filmed in London, Thaba Nchu, a small village in South Africa, and in Soweto. The film sketches the ups and downs of four generations of a family and their friends, starting at the turn of the century, when black and white lived together in peace. Ellen Kuzwayo tells us that there were prosperous black landowners then. But this changed in 1913 with the Natives Land Act, enacted by the white leaders who had gained power from the liberal English government in 1912. This Act deprived the blacks of their property rights and condemned them to social inferiority: they became servants of white masters. When Sol T. Plaatje, of the Native Congress, went to London in 1914 to ask for intervention, the British refused to act. Through the eyes of Blanche, once a farmer herself, and those of Ellen, we see how blacks had to become strangers in their own land. The film follows Blanche to the farm she once owned, and we follow Ellen to her Tiamelo farm. But there is hope for the future: Blanche's and Ellen's followers have vowed to enforce their rights; Ellen's son Justice and daughter-in-law Vuyi solemnly promise to continue claiming their share of the homeland.

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Betty Wolpert, Ellen Kuzwayo, Blanche Tsimatsima

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Countries of production

South Africa