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More DVDs for sale: Property of the State

We have DVDs of the documentary Property of the State: Gay Men in the Apartheid Military for sale in the Out in Africa shop. We hosted the World Première of this local film at the opening night of our 2003 G&L Film Festival!

Property of the State

Property of the State: Gay Men in the Apartheid Military
SA 2003 Video 52min

During the 70s and 80s obligatory conscription into the Apartheid Military saw thousands of naive white boys subjected to the rigid horrors of military discipline. A number of these boys were gay. This forceful documentary investigates the deep abiding scars, betrayal, humiliation and psychiatric “treatments”, along with the eroticism, flamboyant personalities, camaraderie and sexual awakenings of a time that spawned a host of plays and books.

Boys, gay boys, any boys in the army is a sensitive subject — unformed men conscripted, at a tender age, into an anonymous war machine with conformity and killing as its objectives. Director Gerald Kraak’s film explores the complex space that was the military for gay men, at once erotic and hostile.

Edwin Cameron had this to say:

What is impressive about this film is its rich visual and emotional colourings, its unhysterical pace and tone, its intellectual and emotional depth, interspersed with considerable verve and humour — Matthew Krause’s wicked recounting of the disbarred subsequently-married corporal and the fabulous account by Greig Coetzee of the Afrikaans barracks queen, Rhur Labuschagne. It is important that, in this film, queers in the military are not presented as victims only, but as observers, resisters, critics, commentators and participants.

Others interviewed are Mike Smith, with a heart-wrenching testimony of surviving aversion therapy, Anthony Akerman, Damon Galgut and Sir Antony Sher.

It, too, is a film in which Out in Africa invested are we are delighted with the results. The script was first developed in an Out in Africa script-writing workshop run by Jack Lewis.

The producer is Jill Kruger (who also produced Mpumi Njinge’s My Son the Bride) and it was co-funded by the NFVF, GALA and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.


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Out In Africa is a great team, consisting of Nodi (the festival director), Sharon (the deputy director), Theresa (Administrator), Maureen (Production Assistant), Carol (Financial Manager), Arthur (see the Out With Art section) and many others. For the complete list, see our "About Us" page.
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