“Punk in Africa,” a feature-length documentary that is one of more than 100 films screening at the 5th annual Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles (July 10-20), tells the untold story of themulti-racial punk movement in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Following how the punk subculture weaved in political struggle, economic hardship andeven civil war, the fragments of music featured in the film are unique and have been specially tracked down.
“Out of the public response that our prior documentary generated in South Africa and to some extend internationally, we came up with the idea to pursue this film,” says Keith Jones, the Co-Director/Producer of ‘Punk in Africa’. “The situation in South Africa in terms of historical memory is fairly complicated.”
Reflecting punk music as genuinely radical political impulse, ‘Punk in Africa’ goes as far as early 1970s, when the first multi-racial punk bands formed in the wake of the Soweto Uprising, to 1990sdemocratic era, when celebratory African-inspired ska bands sprang up from Cape Town to Maputo. The passion, anger and frustration of punk musicians in apartheid South Africa were invested in their music that expressed social issues, such as censorship, lifestyle, religion and racism. This film features music, interviews and rare footage of Suck, Wild Youth, Safari Suits, PowerAge, National Wake and many others.
‘Punk in Africa’ will screen on Thursday, July 18 at 9:00 p.m. at the Downtown Independent Theater, 251 S. Main St. in downtown Los Angeles 90012. Tickets to the screening of ‘Punk in Africa’ and the other festival films are available in advance at www.dffla.com/tickets.