A Khoe-San Trilogy: Three Documentaries about South Africa’s indigenous people

A thought-provoking trilogy of documentary films about the legacy, oppression and resurgence of South Africa’s indigenous inhabitants, the Khoe and San people, will be screened on three successive Thursdays, starting on the 16th of October, at the Labia Theatre on Orange Street, Cape Town.

You are invited to join independent Cape Town filmmaker Weaam Williams as she embarks on a personal journey of discovery and inspiration that brings to light the suppressed history and culture of the country’s original ancestors.


Each screening will be followed by an audience discussion with the director.

Tickets are R40 and can be reserved by calling the Labia box office at 021 424 5927.

DVDs of the films will be on sale at the venue: R200 each and R450 for the whole series.

A Khoe Story: Part 1

Reclaiming The Mother Tongue

Date: Thursday 16 October 2014

Time: 6.15pm

Venue: The Labia Theatre, Orange Street, Cape Town

Tickets: R40

To reserve tickets, call the Labia box office: 021 424 5927

This documentary explores the history of Khoekhoegowab, the collective term used for South Africa’s indigenous languages, which are currently on the brink of extinction.

The Khoe and San people are regarded as the most ancient human communities on earth and there language is one of the oldest on the planet. The film focuses on the impact of colonialism and Apartheid, as well as the subsequent institutionalisation of English and Afrikaans in South Africa, and the quest to eradicate the Khoe-San mother tongue.

By offering an overview of various colonial laws and the strategic acquisition of land by the Dutch and British, this insightful documentary sketches the forgotten story of how South Africa’s First People were left landless with their culture and language virtually annihilated.

Through a special focus on present-day legislation and the current status of Khoekhoegowab as an unrecognised official language, the film explores the undercurrent of a movement in the Khoe-Khoen community to reclaim and re-learn the language after centuries of suppression.

  A Khoe Story: Part 2

Returning The Remains

Date: Thursday 23 October 2014

Time: 6.15pm

Venue: The Labia Theatre, Orange Street, Cape Town

Tickets: R40

To reserve tickets, call the Labia box office: 021 424 5927

The second installment of the trilogy explores the clandestine genocide of South Africa’s indigenous people. Director Weaam Williams embarks on a personal journey that is one of initial optimism and awe of indigenous communities, leading her to the facts that reveal the genocide that was perpetrated on them.

The film touches on issues of race-based science and social Darwinism, with the remains of indigenous people having been exported to Europe in aid of race-based pseudo science, with special reference to the infamous case of Sarah Baartman.

 A Khoe Story: Part 3

Stories From The Caves

Date: Thursday 30 October 2014

Time: 6.15pm

Venue: The Labia Theatre, Orange Street, Cape Town

Tickets: R40

To reserve tickets, call the Labia box office: 021 424 5927

This film reviews the rich ritual and cultural customs of the Khoe and San people. It looks at rituals that are still being observed today, as well as ancient spiritual beliefs.


Exploring rock art and sacred sites as doorways to age-old spiritual practices, nature consciousness is highlighted as the centre point of indigenous ideology and values. The film also offers a deeper examination of Khoe-San knowledge and ancestral rites of passage as inspiration and learning for present generations of South Africans.

These screenings are a joint project of the filmmaker, the Labia Theatre and While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit collective committed to bringing progressive documentary films with important social, political and environmental messages to South African audiences. While You Were Sleeping is a registered South African Non Profit Organisation (NPO registration no: 137-167 NPO).

Like the films on Facebook.

For further information, contact Dougie Dudgeon (082 560 2296 | bfd@butterflyeffect.co.za) or Andreas Wilson-Späth (084 749 9470 | andreas_spath@yahoo.com).


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