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Sunday, July 20, 2014


VIP Gala Screening for DIFF World Première Documentary

The gala screening of the world première of A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake, the much-anticipated documentary debut of celebrated television/film/theatre director Michael Lessac, promises to be one of the highlights of this year’s DIFF (Durban International Film Festival) with some of the country’s foremost peace mediators joining members of the cast and crew for the world première screening, followed by a Q&A session at the Suncoast Cinecentre this afternoon (July 20) at 17h15.

Dr Alex Boraine, deputy chairperson of the TRC, and multi-award-winning veteran political commentator / author Max du Preez will attend the gala and lead the dialogue after the screening. They will be joined by actors Thembi Mtshali-Jones and Nick Boraine, and Fana Mokoena who will share their experiences of the journey that led to A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake.

It is fitting that du Preez was announced as winner of the Alan Paton Award at the 2014 Sunday Times Literary Awards for his book A Rumour of Spring: South Africa after 20 Years of Democracy. The Alan Paton Award is given for a work of non-fiction that promotes The Illumination of Truthfulness…, a theme which is particularly pertinent to the documentary.

The producers are thrilled that last weekend, the Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award was presented to Thembi Mtshali-Jones for her illustrious career at the National Arts Festival and in recognition of a lifetime of creative energy in South Africa’s cultural life spanning over four decades.

The documentary A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake follows a diverse group of South African actors as they tour global war-torn regions to share South Africa’s experience of reconciliation. As they ignite dialogue among people with raw memories of atrocity, the actors find they must confront once again our country’s complicated and violent past – and question their own capacity for healing and forgiveness.

“The film highlights the valuable role arts played in peace and reconciliation, and the genuine contribution arts can play in the global reconciliation movement and ongoing nation-building,” considers actor Nick Boraine who appears in the movie and who was part of the A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake project since its inception.

A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake was edited by Joel Plotch (In the Company of Men; Nurse Betty; Gone). It was produced by Michael Lessac, Jacqueline Bertrand Lessac and Emma Tammi and Executive Produced by Jonathan Gray, and Robert Lear. It features never-before-heard original music by jazz legend Hugh Masekela, with lyrics taken from TRC personal testimonies. 

A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake premieres at the Durban International Film Festival taking place in venues in and around Durban from July 17 to 27, 2014. The gala screening is at 17h15 this afternoon (July 20) in Suncoast (6) with a second screening on July 25 at 20h15 at Suncoast (7).

Public are warmly invited to attend a morning Tea and Conversation function at the Tugela Room in the Maharani Hotel tomorrow (July 21) from 10h30 until noon. The topic is Unmasking Reconciliation: 20 Years On....Moving Beyond the Cliché. Join Dr Alex Boraine (Vice Chair: Truth & Reconciliation Commission / writer / commentator); Max Du Preez (commentator / columnist / award-winning writer / film-maker); Thembi Mtshali Jones (distinguished stage, television and film actress); Ela Gandhi (Gandhi Development Trust / activist; Albie Sachs (former Judge of the Constitutional Court of SA / Activist) in conversation with media leader Mary Papayya . Entry is free and all are welcome