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55th San Francisco International Film Festival @ BAM/PFA

Thursday, May 3, 2012
6:30 p.m. Meanwhile in Mamelodi
Benjamin Kahlmeyer (Germany/South Africa, 2011)

In Person/Benjamin Kahlmeyer and producer Boris Frank

Set against the raucous backdrop of the 2010 World Cup, Meanwhile in Mamelodi is a beautifully crafted portrait of a place and one family’s daily life inside it. The Mtsweni family lives in the Pretoria township of Mamelodi, in the district known as Extension 11. Their world is a ramshackle collection of corrugated tin dwellings and makeshift shops, open sewers littered with debris, and red-earth rectangles filled with soccer-playing children and teens. Seventeen-year-old Mosquito is one of those kids. Running through clouds of dust, she contemplates her life and dreams. While she studies for math tests, flirts with boys, and shops with her best friend, her father Steven prepares his “tuck shop” for the promise of cash-flush tourists in town for the World Cup games. Meanwhile, his wife struggles with mental illness sparked by the family’s move to the slum years earlier. Meanwhile, the World Cup brings new hope to the ravaged town. Celebrations erupt and spontaneous joy emerges from the most sobering of circumstances. Extension 11 buzzes with the drone of vuvuzelas, signaling a new South Africa has arrived. Despite the poverty around her, Mosquito insists this is not her parents’ country. She is the face of South Africa’s future—part of “a new generation free to do all things.”

—Sara Dosa

• Photographed by Stefan Neuberger. (75 mins)

Tickets on sale March 30. Online tickets are available through the SFFS ticketing system. Follow the link below and select "buy tickets." BAM/PFA members receive a discount online by using a special promo code. If you are a member and did not receive the code by email, please call (510) 642-1412.

Buy Tickets

Advance tickets March 27–30. BAM/PFA members may purchase advance tickets online between March 27 and 30 by clicking the link below and entering a special promo code. If you are a member and did not receive the code by email, please call (510) 642-1412.

Purchase Advance Member Tickets