Women of Marikana’s Untold Story Comes Home to a Theatrical Release

Women of Marikana’s Untold Story Comes Home to a Theatrical Release

The multi-award winning South African film, Strike A Rock, will be storming local cinemas this November after a hugely successful festival run, both locally and abroad.

Director/producer Aliki Saragas's first feature documentary film tracks the lives of Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana - champions of the Women's Group, Sikhala Sonke (Translated: We are crying together) - as they fight courageously for a better life in Marikana mining community after thirty-four striking mineworkers were shot dead by South African police in August 2012.

Comparable to the infamous Sharpeville Massacre of 1960, the Marikana Massacre left devastation in its wake as the men went on strike for a living wage of R12 500 per month. Strike A Rock is a superb offering of progressive African female images and voices on screen that highlights the complexities of life for the women left behind as they endeavor to help their community to rise above their circumstances.

In an intimate rendering of how the personal becomes political, the film follows Primrose and Thumeka's increasingly strained friendship alongside their struggle to achieve socio-economic justice for the people of Nkaneng informal settlement after mining company, Lonmin Plc, failed to deliver on their legal obligations to the community. It is the first documentary to successfully allow the women of Marikana to tell their story on an international platform and to accurately portray their fight for a dignified life as they express their disappointment with the current ruling political party and rally around the, then-newly-formed, revolutionary socialist party, Economic Freedom Fighters.

Strike A Rock has recently returned from its second UK tour after internationally premiering at the prestigious Sheffield International Documentary Festival in June 2017. The film was one of six projects chosen to pitch at Good Pitch Kenya in 2016 and the European Documentary Network. It opened the Encounters Documentary Festival 2017 and won the Audience Award for Best South African Documentary. The film has also won the Best South African Documentary and the Amnesty International Durban Award for Human Rights at the Durban International Film Festival 2017. Most recently, Strike A Rock traveled to Amsterdam in November for the Panorama section of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) - the largest documentary film festival in the world. On its return home, the film will be showing in local cinemas in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria.

Saragas says that she is "overwhelmed and inspired by the success of Strike a Rock and how it has resonated with audiences around the world." The film has been lauded both internationally and on South African soil with the Encounters International Documentary Festival describing it as "an extraordinary ode to quite extraordinary women catalysing political change throughout the fallout of the Marikana Massacre" and Radio 702's Mmakgomo Tshetlo calling the film "a ground-breaking feature that offers a counterpoint to Rehad Desai's [co-producer on Strike A Rock] acclaimed documentary Miners Shot Down."

Saragas is adamant that the film be seen as widely as possible in South Africa and across the African continent as she believes that this is where the film's impact is most desperately needed. "The situation in Marikana is dire and it is my hope that the film will work to amplify some of the voices of the mining community that still does not have basic services."

Thumeka's voice echoes through the film as she so eloquently puts it: "We have no electricity but 200 meters away, Lonmin's lights shine all night."

Saragas and the Strike A Rock team are, therefore, thrilled to announce that Strike A Rock will be showing in local Ster Kinekor theatres from 25-29 November 2017. It will be showing at Gateway Commerical theatre, Brooklyn Nouveau, V&A Nouveau and Rosebank Nouveau.

Saturday, 25th November at 7:45pm
Sunday, 26th November at 2:30pm
Tuesday, 28th November at 7:45pm
Wednesday, 29th November at 7:45pm

For more information, visit http://strikearock.co.za

Watch and embed the film trailer here: https://vimeo.com/150025734

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