Marikana doccie features at fest

Johannesburg - Having won several awards at home, director Aliki Saragas’ documentary Strike a Rock is expected to attract applause at the 11-day International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (Idfa), which starts on Thursday.

While South Africa has screened 67 titles at Idfa so far, Saragas’ documentary is the country’s only entry this year.

The film, which won awards at the Encounters Documentary Festival and the Durban International Film Festival, tracks the lives of two women involved in the aftermath of the Marikana massacre.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana – champions of Sikhala Sonke – fight together to improve conditions in the Marikana community after the massacre in which 34 striking mine workers were killed by police in August 2012.

Idfa is considered to be one of the biggest film festivals in the world along with Hot Docs – The Canadian International Documentary Festival.

This is Saragas’ first feature film, and she says that she is “overwhelmed and inspired by its success and “how it has resonated with audiences around the world”.

“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,” she said.

Unlike Rehad Desai’s Marikana film Miners Shot Down, which was criticised for including few female voices, Strike a Rock is all about women in front of and behind the camera.

Local audiences can see Strike a Rock from November 25 to 29 at Ster-Kinekor’s Gateway Commercial theatre, Brooklyn Nouveau, V&A Nouveau and Rosebank Nouveau.