About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

09 February 2012

Movie: Punk in Africa

One of the cool things about The Bioscope, is that it screens movies, that would otherwise not get a screening at South African movie theatres. Punk In Africa, is a documentary on punk music - from the late 1970's to 2011 (when it was filmed) - predominately in South Africa, a bit of Mozambique and Zimbabwe and a couple of mentions of the rest of Africa. The definition of punk is fluid; and covers - as far as the bands that are covered - rock, reggae, ska and a bit more. The common thread, be it bands from the way past such as National Wake; to the modern Fuzzigish and Hog Hoggidy Hog; is their focus on societal protest.

With a lot of archived footage; and interviews with the band members; there is a lot of interesting tidbits like, not only were there multi-racial punk bands in the 1980's - they were very popular in the townships. With a lot of focus on pre-1994 bands, there was off course quite a lot on racial segregation and the secret police and their impact on band line-ups and performances. But the real gems in the documentary are the archived video footage of the band performances. They have also now released a compilation of the music from the documentary, which should make interesting listening.

I haven't been to see a live rock band for a long time (outside concerts for big international artists). A number of venues that I knew off in Johannesburg has closed - and I think all of the clubs featured in the movie are now gone. The lack of clubs also implies that there has been a steady decline in the popularity of the music. Is it a matter of demographics, or a lack of money (for the band members) or simply a change in musical taste - I am not sure.

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