In the 20th century, the Drive-in was synonymous with Johannesburg culture. A Friday night at the flicks, either with the whole family and a picnic hamper, or on a hot date at a horror show, was an institution of Johannesburg social life that older residents on one side of the apartheid racial divide saw slip away with a sense of nostalgia. Many Johannesburgers from the other side of the divide were left with a sense of losing something which they only just started to have access to as it was disappearing. Around the time the Top Star Drive-in – perched above the City Centre on the massive mine dump just South of the M2 - disappeared, Johannesburgers were forced to accept that the drive-in was now a thing of the past.
Recently, however, new technology and an appetite for unique experiences has led to a revival of the drive-in, at least in pop-up form. The Goethe-Institut is happy to play a role in this revival, and proud to use this opportunity to introduce four of the groundbreaking recent films from around the African continent that are included in the African Film Package curated by Katarina Hedren of the Goethe-Institut.
The pop-up drive-in was presented on the parking lot of Fox Junction, 1 Fox Street in Marshalltown. The area was well secured and in conformity with COVID regulations.
The four films were:
Frontières (2019), directed by Appoline Traoré, a road adventure film about the journey by bus of four West African women from Dakar to Lagos
aKasha (2018) directed by Hajooj Kuka, a Sudanese comedic film about a Sundanese soldier caught between his love for his girlfriend and his AK-47;
Rafiki (2018), directed by Wanuri Kahiu, the multi-award winning story of two young women finding friendship and love in a Nairobi housing estate. Rafiki is the first Kenyan feature film to be invited to Cannes Film Festival 2018 as part of the official Un Certain Regard selection;
Burkinabe, directed by Nthato Mokgata & Carla Fonseca, a road movie in which a young woman looking for her roots, but she finds spiritual awakening with the help of a kind stranger.
The African Film Package was put together in 2019 with the help of Katarina Hedren of the First Wednesday Film Club, and the able team of Big World Cinema. The package made it possible for the five films in the package to be screened in Ethiopia, Angola, Eritrea, Burkina Faso; Ghana; Rwanda; Senegal; Côte D’Ivoire; the DRC; Nigeria; Cameroon; Namibia, Tanzania – and because of this project also in Johannesburg.
Due to social distancing regulations, admittance was stricly controlled, and only guests who had RSVPd and registered in advance were admitted.