South Africa has been the setting for some very memorable cinematic moments. In accord with this and the current coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown I thought that it would be a good time to review a few of these. Perhaps some of us will stream a movie to remind ourselves of aspects of South African culture and its stunning geography. I remember lining up outside the cinema complex in the 1980s for The Gods Must Be Crazy and its sequel. Suddenly, the Coke bottle became something else entirely in the minds of millions of people globally. The late Jamie Uys wrote and directed this phenomenal success and this film contained some of the most famous cinematic scenes from South Africa. It put the San bushmen on the map for filmgoers everywhere.
A Freeman Playing a Much-Loved President
Invictus placed fan favourite Morgan Freeman in the cinematic shoes of the late South African President, Nelson Mandela, during the 1996 Rugby World Cup. In this full of feeling sports movie, starring Matt Damon as Springbok captain François Pienaar, director Clint Eastwood captures the country in transition. There are many famous cinematic scenes from South Africa in this great film.
Leonardo DiCaprio Loved Filming in South Africa
Blood Diamond with Leonardo DiCaprio sits at the other end of the emotion spectre. Shot on location in Cape Town and Port Edward this movie highlights human greed, human exploitation and violence. DiCaprio was later recorded saying that he loved filming in South Africa, where he found the people warm and the landscapes stunning.
Prawns Were Never the Same
Is there a better film made in South Africa than District 9? This 2009 Neill Blomkamp movie is an allegorical science fiction themed affair. It was filmed in Johannesburg and captures the ghettoes but with aliens inhabiting them. District 9 was a global hit and was nominated for four Academy awards. Laugh out loud funny this movie artfully delivered the reality of the apartheid history of South Africa to audiences of all ages around the world.
In my own recent experience, during the 2020 virus crisis, I sometimes feel like I have been transported into one of those zombie films. People around me are wearing face masks and giving me a wide berth whilst we shop for essential items in supermarkets. Vast expanses of empty shelves surround me where once the toilet paper, flour, rice, pasta and hand sanitiser used to be.
In 2002 Mr. Bones starring Leon Schuster became the highest grossing South African film of all time.
In 1987 Quest For Love was the first gay-themed movie released in South Africa.
Tsotsi won the Academy Award for foreign language film in 2006.
These are just some of the many famous cinematic scenes from South Africa.