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The Mother’s House
We hit the film festival again last night. So far we have visited all but one of the many venues the festival is using. It’s great to get out to all of the venues as we are seeing alot more of the city.

This movie was extremely powerful. Post film we spoke with the producer who was in the audience. The crew spent five years practically living with the family and documenting their story. It was wonderfully filmed, and at times I really wanted to forget it was a documentary and wished it was fiction.

Astonishingly intimate, overwhelming and shocking, The Mother’s House is a record of four years in the life of Miché, a charming and precocious teenager growing into womanhood in post-Apartheid South Africa. Living in a “coloured” township outside Cape Town, she has to face not only life in a community beset by gangsterism and drug abuse, but also what it means to break the cycle of violence imprisoning her own female-only family.

Miché’s mother, Valencia, is an ex-Struggle activist, now unemployed, HIV positive and about to give birth to a third child. Dominated by unresolved conflict with her own mother Amy, she increasingly directs her personal problems onto her daughter. Miché is in many ways an ordinary high school girl: she has her ears pierced for the first time, hosts her first dancing party, and finds her first boyfriend. But having to bear responsibility for both her mother’s anger and health and the well-being of her younger siblings forces her to be strong beyond her years. Torn between escaping abuse by leaving home and protecting those she loves, she takes a wrong turn – before finally coming to terms with her mother, grandmother and the world she lives in.

Produced by Namibian, Neil Brandt, the Mother’s House was awarded Best Documentary Film at its world premier during the Cape Town World Cinema Festival in November 2005.

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