Forerunners (2011)

Teenage Stories / 52m / Feature / Documentary


Forerunners soulfully explores what it means to be black and middle class in South Africa today. At the frontier of unprecedented social change, Miranda, Mpumi, Martin and Karabo are part of the first generation of black South Africans to rise from poverty and join the country’s “middle class.” They delicately balance the traditional views of their childhood with the western consumerism that rules their professional lives, selecting and discarding elements from each world to forge a new legacy for their descendants. Their internal conflicts are emphasised using carefully composed imagery of rural and urban, rich and poor. Empty spaces reflect the narrative and serve to show what has been left behind––the echo of ancestors. Weaving through these images the film suggests the elastic push and pull of a society in a state of flux, struggling to forge a new identity. Will the values they have inherited become irrelevant in 21st century Africa? Or can their heritage become a propelling force of strength with which to face the challenges to come?

Directed by Simon Wood


South Africa
South Africa, United Kingdom
Southern Africa


SaltPeter Productions
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