Deon Maas doccie goes to Rotterdam

2012-01-12 11:13
Pauli van Wyk
Johannesburg – A documentary film which examines the influence of multi-racial punk music on the popular culture in Southern Africa is the only local film to be taken up at the Rotterdam Film Festival.

Through Punk in Africa producers Deon Maas of Meerkat Media and American born Keith Jones who lives in Prague, explore the interplay between multiracial punk music and the political and social climate of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The film received positive feedback at the Durban International Film Festival as well as at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival in Brazil. Subsequently the film has earned a place at the prestigious Rotterdam film festival as well as at the One World film festival which takes place in Prague during March.

Maas explained that he is exceptionally proud of the product and the honour that has been bestowed on him.

"Many documentaries have been made about music during the apartheid era, however these were mainly focused on Jazz musicians such as Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba. The story of local punk culture has not been told yet."


According to Maas every generation faces its own problems which is reflected in the popular culture of the day. Punk in Africa focuses on a time when South Africa was embroiled in a bitter border war in Angola, former president PW Botha was described as the Groot Krokodil and musicians such as those involved in the Voëlvry movement were driven underground.

Artists such as André le Roux du Toit (Koos Kombuis), Johannes Kerkorrel (Ralph Rabie), Bernoldus Niemand (James Phillips) and die Swart Gevaar proclaimed anarchy and it was clear that Afrikaans youth were taking a stand against a culture that had dictated to them.

"The so-called alternative culture has always been a reaction to what was going on in the mainstream," said Maas.

"Politics are part of the mainstream and the same problems that were there, are now happening again. In Zimbabwe musicians are being forced to go underground and the climate is now almost as bad as it was in South Africa during the '70's and '80's. Fokofpolisiekar is also a product of a generation expressing their problems."