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).

11 October 2014

Adapt or Fly

Pieter-Dirk Uys' new one man show, Adapt or Fly, currently on at the Market Theatre, feels like a farewell show - a compilation of his time in South Africa's theatre circuit. I haven't seen his full one man shows before, so the format was a bit strange - the combination of political commentary, various characters and impersonations and personal reflection did not have a cohesive theme - but that is not to say, it was a bad show. It was not a stand-up comedy routine, but it was not a play. But it was funny, often serious in its subject matter, and sometimes poignant.

It was just strange - but completely worth it.

06 October 2014

Movie: Roadmap to Apartheid

In Roadmap to Apartheid, shown in the recent Tri-Continent Film Festival, the film-makers compare the Israel to Apartheid South Africa, with the Israelis taking the position of the oppressive regime. With the recent war in Gaza, it was a timely documentary, even though the movie was released in 2012.

There are striking similarities - but there are just as many striking differences. For example, the Apartheid South African economy was almost slavery, while Israel does not depend on Palestinians for its economy. Likewise, the demographic differences are more equivalent - unlike minority oppression in Apartheid South Africa.

That said, the Israeli occupation is brutal - and this is a great documentary in providing context to a number of key issues - such as what exactly is a settlement, or what are the 1967 borders, and for that matter, what was the original border. It is in the brutality, and the exposure of the brutality that the movie is at its most powerful. It does not require equivalence to other immoral regimes to be itself, a immoral regime. It is also one sided - not that it excuses Israeli oppression - but at very least, the context of Palestinian movements has some foundation other than political rhetoric.

The documentary ends in a surprisingly upbeat tone - focusing on the BDS movement, which has gained increasing prominence in the recent past. While I think the BDS movement has laudable aims, unfortunately, it will require political will to actually reverse the scenario. Sanctions against Apartheid after all were political in nature - not just at individuals and companies. For the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to end, it requires compromise from both sides, and it requires visionary leadership from both sides. Fundamentally, I think the conflict is fuelled by, what is effectively racism, on both sides. For it to end, it will require a Mandela, or a Gandhi, on both sides. 

What it means for the interim, is just more conflict.