My Day 8 at San Francisco’s International Film Festival: “Meanwhile In Mamelodi” and “LUV”

Even someone as immersed in the festival as myself needs to take a breather every now and then.  So, today, instead of sticking to my original plan of seeing 4 movies I opted to see only half that and spend the rest of my time with my better half who also goes by the name Kristiana.  For the record my day with her was easily worth .

However, my star ratings for the movies I saw were…

Meanwhile in Mamelodi

Happy, happy, happy.  Joy, joy, joy.  That’s how I felt throughout most of newcomer Benjamin Kahlmeyer‘s family portrait snapshot of a documentary.

This film is about poor living conditions of those living in the Township of Mamelodi.  This film is about a post apartheid hopeful ideology found within the younger generation.  This film is about generation gaps.  This film is about being a teenager.  This film is about being a boy.  This film is about being a father.  This film is about community.  This film is about fantastic editing, a noticeably impressive sound design, continuous scenes of exquisite cinematography, and an original pulsating kinetic jazz infused soundtrack that I now absolutely must own!  This film is not about football (American soccer), even though the World Cup gets mentioned in some form or another in just about every scene, whether it be on the radio, on TV, in the classroom, at the store, etc.  This film is and is not about all these things, but first and foremost this film is about a family – the Mtswenis.

Kahlmeyer exhibits all the precision of a veteran filmmaker.  His ability to weave together a stream of life-capturing Kodak moments in what appears to be a seemingly ordinary family should not be seen as anything less than enthralling filmmaking.  A very moving film and has my vote for best doc of the fest.


Sad, sad, sad. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

This is newcomer Sheldon Candis‘ avuncular version of Antoine Fuqua‘s Training Day.  Both movies take place within the course of a day, and both involve an elder manipulating his disciple, but that’s where the comparisons stop.  Aside from what I believe to be this movie’s biggest fault, which is its riddled with a slew of plot holes, it’s also has its share of ridiculously far-reaching character motivations that make zero sense within the film’s reality.  Were the acting not as on point as it was (great cast, by the way) I’m not sure I would have been able to stay for the absurd final act.


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Categories: Reviews

2 Comments on “My Day 8 at San Francisco’s International Film Festival: “Meanwhile In Mamelodi” and “LUV””

  1. antony mekas
    May 2, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    This a good review for this beautiful film. I wouldn’t be able to put it in the right words but I just felt as you described it. Nice one!

    • Adam Cuttler
      May 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      Glad to hear you liked my review, but more importantly, I’m glad you liked the movie. I still can’t believe that this was the director’s first feature. It looks like he has a good future ahead of him.

      Not sure if you stayed for the Q&A but he mentioned that the family has fallen on harder times since the making of this movie and that the father is in danger of loosing his store. It seems like there needs to be a sequel.

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