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Francis Ameyibor
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Ramadan Suleman, cinéaste

Dumile Feni, artiste

Dumile in his room

Sculpture by Dumile

Dumile at the Durban art gallery, in 1966.

Dumile working on history

Dumile and Omar Badsha, Durban, 1966

Dumile Feni

Available in DVD

Dumile with Scream in background

Zwelidumile, a South African Film directed by Ramadan Suleman
Top African Artist Lost in London

The Film Zwelidumile titled in this script "Top African Artist Lost in London," captures the emotional life story of one of the greatest master in the art of drawing in the last century of South Africa, Dumile Feni.

The director brought to the fore Dumile's docile political agitation, artistic impression of the White South African as against Black South African although graceful and controlled suffused with a tormented horror that is breathtaking in its power.
The creativity of Dumile and writing style forced him into exile but "as an advocate for liberation of South Africa, Dumile throughout the period in exile never give up but continued to use the power of creative art works to tell the story of the turbulent socio political climate in South Africa.

Zwelidumile draws out the seductive means adopted by Dumile in his paintings focusing on the sadness of so much of his subject matter Black South Africans but uses the humanist impressions to give the viewer a glimmer of hope through the sheer beauty with which he conveys his subject matter.
The story also clearly showed the lifestyle of not only Dumile but most people in the entertainment industry who lived in a world of their "own - lifestyle, abuse of alcohol, drugs, and waste of resources," as explained by Harold Miller one of the numerous narrators stressing, "Dumile was extremely unusual character".

The film Zwelidumile revealed in the power of narrative story telling phenomenon moves through the work, family and life of Dumile, with the infusion of his artistic works, childhood pictures manages to make an impression with its vitality and originality.
The portrayal of Dumile's exile from South Africa, exhibitions as at the
Camden Centre (1969) and Gallery 21 (1975) in London, and role as an artist in residence at the University of California for the academic year of 1979 to 1980, gives viewers the impression never give-up. In spite of being in exile Dumile become very useful to the world and had a bigger platform to preach against oppression in South Africa.

The wickedness of mankind towards other nationals based on tribe, religion, colour, and gender during the apartheid era would continue to serve as constant reminder to the world to say never again.
However the use of scores of personalities in narrating the story created some boring scenes due to the posture and mannerism of some of the individual, some dragged on the speech, others attempted in futility to create sense of humor without necessary linking it up to the issue at stake. They were too many.

The story also over concentrated on the wicked era, which could give room for revenge, the era is over, belongs to history we must begin to focus more on the new era which Dumile fought and died for.
Other significant incident, which disrupted the audience concentration on the story was intermittent crack in the voice of some speakers.
In spite of all these challenges the use of the medium of suspended interest skills in weaving the narration was powerful enough to hold the audience to their seat.

The director also combined effectively the tragic and humorous incidents together without necessary raising too much emotion.
The film Director also exposed Dumile as an unsound hero in South Africa who was not only an artist but "activist as an artist, and as a consequence, his work expresses the spirit of his era". Africa must honour its hero. We use one third of our brains to see.
This generous allocation of grey matter implies that the sense of sight is critical. In the case of social animals like humans, visual intelligence also ropes in communication, a set of skills that lead to more effective, group action that is the message of hope in the story.
In this regard, the Bantu Education Act was a particularly useful tool.
Strategically aimed to block all but the most basic forms of communication, the act played out in the arts through a lack of art education and a demotion of indigenous arts to utilitarian purpose. Dumile died in exile in 1991; three years before his vision of a democratic South Africa was realized. The establishment of a foundation would ensure that though dead his life goes.


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   liens films

Zwelidumile 2009
Ramadan Suleman

   liens artistes

Feni Dumile

Suleman Ramadan


26/02/2011 > 05/03/2011
festival |Burkina Faso |
FESPACO 2011 (Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou)
22e édition

   liens structures

Belgique | Bruxelles

France | Les Pilles

Africultures Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso | Ouagadougou 09

Burkina Faso | Ouagadougou 01

Ghana Federation of Film Critics
Ghana | ACCRA

Ministère de la Culture, des Arts et du Tourisme (MCAT) - Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso | Ouagadougou

Ministère des Affaires étrangères (France)
France | Paris

Natives at Large
Afrique du Sud | JOHANNESBURG

Vanuit het Zuiden (Depuis le Sud)

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