Apostles of Civilised Vice

Synopsis apostle0004
DIRECTOR: Zackie Achmat
South Africa 1999 104min

JHB Mon 7th / 9pm + GUEST Thu 10th / 7pm
CT Sat 12th / 6pm + GUEST Thu 17th / 6.30pm

South Africa might now have a constitution that enshrines the rights of gays and lesbians, but it was not always so. In this irreverent but historically accurate document, Achmat unpacks the little known, inexorably tangled, tragic and often ironic queer history of South Africa. It resets the landscape through interviews with present day activists Phumi Mtetwa, Kevan Botha, Beverley Myburgh, Edwin Cameron and OIA’s Teresa Raizenberg, and re-enacted historical vignettes: the ‘gay’ affair of Dr James Barry and Lord Charles Somerset, mock-marriages between allegedly heterosexual miners, a tea party attended by Dr Louis Leipoldt, and the pre-equality gay culture in District Six, among many others. An important film, cunningly presented, endlessly revealing, it reclaims and rewrites the place of gays and lesbians in history, presenting a new one that is celebrated, not criminalised or marginalised.

Achmat is a guest of the Festival and will conduct a Q&A after the screenings in Jozi & CT.

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