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Film ‘Address Unknown’ tells story of friendship and District Six displacement

14 September 2020 5:14 PM
Tags:
District Six
Film
filmmaker
short film
Address Unknown
Nadine Cloete
Durban Film Fest

A short fictional film based on the forced removals in District Six is currently the most-watched film at the virtual Durban International Film Festival.

The film Address Unknown tells the story of District Six postman Joey and how his friendship with his childhood mate survives the brutal forced removals.

Address Unknown, directed by Nadine Cloete, was inspired by the true story of Zain Young, a former postman and resident of District Six.

Cloete, who directed the acclaimed documentary Action Commandant, says the short film explores themes about disposession, friendship, and identity.

Image: Screeshot from trailer of 'Address Unknown' short film.

RELATED: Two of the oldest District Six claimants die while waiting for restitution

Address Unknown was written by former journalist and anti-apartheid activist Anton Fisher who approached Cloete about directing the story.

Cloete and Fisher met with young and many former District Six residents while researching for the film.

She says that filmmakers and other artists have an important role to play in archiving history and facilitating healing.

RELATED: District Six Museum appeals for donations to help keep its doors open

The subject matter is important to me. History and identity have always been themes in my work... It was natural to take on Address Unknown in this way.

Nadine Cloete, Film Director

The main character is based on one of the last postmen [in District Six] Zain Young who Anton Fisher had many interviews with while he was developing the film.

Nadine Cloete, Film Director

For the letters that didn't get delivered, he had to write on them 'address unknown'.

Nadine Cloete, Film Director

The film is a friendship film, but it also says so much more about our trauma and our relationships... There are many themes running across it.

Nadine Cloete, Film Director

The letters are really a metaphor for the people of the place and 'Address Unknown' is not just the title of the film but it speaks to the identity of the people.

Nadine Cloete, Film Director

With my work, I just hope to stimulate conversations and stimulate healing.

Nadine Cloete, Film Director

Address Unknown is being screened online during the virtual Durban International Festival (DIFF) and is the most viewed film on the festival's platform so far.

This year's DIFF programme consists of 60 shorts, documentaries, and feature films.

You can watch all films on the DIFF website until Sunday 20 September. Click here to sign up.

Listen to the discussion on Lunch with Pippa Hudson:


14 September 2020 5:14 PM
Tags:
District Six
Film
filmmaker
short film
Address Unknown
Nadine Cloete
Durban Film Fest

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