South African, Berlin-based filmmaker Teboho Edkins’s cross-genre documentary Western, Days of Cannibalism will have its joint African Premiere at the Encounters South African Documentary Film Festival on Friday, 28 August at 8pm and then later at the Durban International Film Festival from 10 to 20 September.
Days of Cannibalism, which had its World Premiere at the Berlinale International Film Festival in February, is set in the rugged terrain of a remote rural region in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, Southern Africa. Here modern-day pioneers are met with unease by local communities, and self-made Chinese merchants negotiate their place alongside traditional Basotho cattle breeders.
“The film, like a classical Western, takes place in a universal frontier space in which the laws of society are in a state of flux,” explains Edkins. “I am fascinated by the notion of settlers moving into new spaces, and what this does to the status quo, especially within the context of globalisation and capitalist forces. The arrival of new settlers in Lesotho – economic migrants from China – has upset the balance of power. Old laws and old gods are being called into question. Against the backdrop of a newly emerging China-Africa relationship Days of Cannibalism explores the complexities and the latent tensions this encounter gives rise to.”
The film avoids central characters or an overarching plot; instead strained moments and small gestures between the newly arrived pioneers and local communities unfold against a vast and harsh landscape.
Produced by KinoElektron, Day Zero Films, Kepler Film Days of Cannibalism the world sales rights have been picked up by Paris based Indie Sales.
The film has screened at major film festivals in Europe and the USA: CPH DOX in Copenhagen, Sweden, in New Directors / New Films in New York, USA, Visions du Réel in Switzerland, DOK.fest in Munich, Germany and others.
Edkins will also present his journey in making the film on the Durban Does Docs platform at the 11th Durban FilmMart – Africa’s premier film industry event (4-13 September).
The African Premiere takes place at Encounters International South African Documentary Film Festival on Friday, 28 August/ 8pm (GMT +2) followed by a Q&A with Teboho (Both free but with limited tickets – booking essential). The film will be available for 24 hours from 8pm.
Watch the trailer: