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What to watch at the 2017 Encounters Documentary Film Festival

Lovers of thought-provoking film will be delighted to hear that the Encounters South African International Documentary Film Festival is back.

In its 19th year, the festival is set to keep cinephiles engaged with gripping stories and cinematography from 1 - 11 June 2017 at Cinema Nouveau and The Labia in Cape Town.

Bringing us incredible local and international documentaries, this year’s festival offers 32 South African films in a programme of over 70 features and short films ranging from personal performances to urgently political pieces.

Opening the 2017 edition of Africa’s premier documentary festival tonight at the V&A Nouveau is a special screening of Aliki Saragas' Strike a Rock – ‘an extraordinary ode to quite extraordinary women catalysing political change throughout the fallout of the Marikana Massacre.’

With such a wide-ranging selection of films available to you, we’ve highlighted five of our favourite documentaries to help you decide.

Whitney: Can I Be Me

Incredibly compelling, Nick Broomfield’s internationally acclaimed biography of one of the greatest singers of all time - takes a look at Whitney Houston’s rise to international stardom, questions around her sexuality and her fatal attraction to the drugs she shared with Bobby Brown.

I Am Not Your Negro

Revisiting the deaths of three civil rights activists, Raoul Peck’s Academy Award-nominated documentary tells James Baldwin’s unfinished story of the assassinations of his close friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Forever Pure

A fan club spiralling out of control, Maya Zinshtein’s 2017 Tromsø International Film Festival award-winning documentary takes an insider look at the Israeli need for racial purity - after Beitar Jerusalem F.C’s owner secretly transferred two Muslims to his team.

Winnie

When Nelson Mandela was locked away for 27 years, Winnie ‘Mother of the Nation’ Madikizela-Mandela fearlessly rose as a key figure in South African’s liberation after she declared a bloody war on the Apartheid regime in Pascale Lamche’s 2017 Sundance award-winning documentary.

Life, Animated

Rediscovering the voice of their silent autistic son, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia adopted animated Disney characters to express love, loss, relationships and brotherhood in the Academy Award-nominated documentary.

These are just just a few of this year's most powerful documentaries - visit www.encounters.co.za to view the rest of them.

Tickets are limited. Book yours for only R55 at Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank and V&A Waterfront.

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