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'Joko Ya Hao' inspired by the life and legacy of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

7 August 2020 6:25 PM
Tags:
joko ya hao
mmabatho montsho

Filmmaker and director Mmabatho Montsho says she chose 'people whose storytelling kind of matches mine'.

Creator, actress, filmmaker and director Mmabatho Montsho has shared the thought process behind the creation of Joko Ya Hao - a short film inspired by the life and legacy of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Describing the story plot, Montsho says it is about Nozizwe (played by Simphiwe Dana) - a woman of the Women's Manyano (union) - who dreams of becoming a priest but is faced with various obstacles because of gender inequalities at the time.

The story is set during a time of forced removals and there is a conversation between religion and politics and if those two things can work together or not.

Mmabatho Montsho, Filmmaker

In terms of approaching the film, a story kind of dictates itself how it needs to be told and I truly believe as storytellers our business is to listen to the story. I experience it mostly as a witness, it is almost as if we are there to witness the story and to capture it happening but you know of course things are practical so you create the storyboard, you do the casting.

Mmabatho Montsho, Filmmaker

I chose people whose storytelling kind of matches mine but who also have quite strong heads on their shoulders so that they bring their own voices to the story and we can sort of grapple with it. It is great to lead a vision with people who have something to say, other than people who are saying yes to everything you are suggesting.

Mmabatho Montsho, Filmmaker

WATCH: Joko Ya Hao | Drama | Trailer | Showmax

Speaking on the length of the film, Montsho explains that short films are powerful in their own right.

A subject matter can live in even two minutes, depending on the conversation you are having in that story - what you are trying to say, the philosophy of that film.

Mmabatho Montsho, Filmmaker

For me, it was a deliberate choice to not resolve certain narratives in the story itself because I felt it's something that should be resolved in present day.

Mmabatho Montsho, Filmmaker

Speaking on Dana's character in the film, Montsho says while there were other amazing actors considered to play the role of Nozizwe, Dana's take on it was different to what she had initially envisioned.

The strongest thing that was there was this deep compassion. Often when you tell people this film is a love letter to Mama Winnie Mandela, there is sort of a fire, a force that some of the actors put into the performance which is something we absolutely love and that stood out about Mama but there was just this note of compassion that I thought 'yes, that's what it is'.....she brings a powerful compassion.

Mmabatho Montsho, Filmmaker

The film is available on Showmax.

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation....


7 August 2020 6:25 PM
Tags:
joko ya hao
mmabatho montsho

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