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rédacteur
Nosipho S. Mngoma
publié le
23/07/2013
films, artistes, structures ou événements liés à cette critique
les commentaires liés à cette critique

Steven and Tiwonge, 2 Men and a Wedding.


Nosipho Mngoma (Reel Times / Africiné)


Sara Blecher, Film Director


Steven and Tiwonge, 2 Men and a Wedding.

retour
 
2 Men and a Wedding
The wide diversity

Africa is still largely homophobic. Homosexuality is illegal in 37 of the 54 countries on the continent. The death penalty is imposed in two and punishable with life imprisonment in three countries. South Africa is the only country with gay rights entrenched in the constitution and which allows gay marriage.
Yet, lesbians are still being killed and "correctively" raped at an alarming rate.

In Malawi, same sex relations carry a sentence of up to 14 years and that was the punishment Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga received for openly loving each other.
Award winning director Sara Blecher brings us their story in the documentary film 2 Men and a Wedding, (2012). The film, which is in competition for the Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award, poignantly explores the implications of being gay in Africa today and the couple's battle for human rights and dignity.
It is part of the Sexual Identities theme included in this year's Durban International Film Festival to acknowledge the wide diversity of sexual identities.



The film features grainy cell phone footage which forms a stark contrast to the other professionally shot footage but this cinema verité adds to the feeling of realism. According to Blecher, she made two trips to Malawi. One during the court case and the other after the couple was released from prison and Tiwonge went into hiding while Steven was jailed, making access to them for interviews difficult. One misses their voices in the film, we don't hear enough of their personal anguish and how they felt being the symbol of gay rights in a country where religion and law inherited from colonial times is used to persecute them.

The director however captures the outrage of ordinary Malawians allowing the audience to form an understanding of the perceptions of gay people in the country and the cruelty against gay people. These negative perceptions extend to the media which, in newspaper clippings and television interviews with the couple, reported in a condescending manner which is extremely offensive.
The court case and sentence drew international attention and Blecher includes this in the film but the audience never knows where the protest in support of the couple originates. More weight could have been given to these in the film.
This film definitely needs to be supported, just as people's right to be who they are.

- Film review by
Nosipho Mngoma

Nosipho Mngoma (South Africa) is one of the four Durban Talent Press 2013 participants.
Paper First published on Reel Times (Durban, 19/07/2013)

Title: 2 Men and a Wedding
Country: South Africa
Year: 2012
Running time: 51 min
Director: Sara Blecher

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   liens films

2 Men and a Wedding 2012
Sara Blecher


   liens artistes

Blecher Sara


   vnements

18/07/2013 > 28/07/2013
festival |Afrique du Sud |
Festival international du Film de Durban (DIFF) 2013
34ème édition

19/07/2013 > 23/07/2013
atelier |Afrique du Sud |
Talent Campus Durban 2013
6ème édition

   liens structures

Center for Creative Arts (CCA-UKZN)
Afrique du Sud | DURBAN

Cinga Productions
Afrique du Sud | Johannesburg, Gauteng

   liens festivals


atelier | Afrique du Sud | Durban

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