Belonging is a young woman's journey through an identity crisis. She feels excluded by the people who should embrace her. As a result, she feels disconnected.'I smile, I laugh and I joke, but I don't really connect with people,' she says.
Kethiwe Ngcobo was born in exile to parents who fled apartheid South Africa in the early 1960s. In 1994, the year that the country became a democracy, her family returned home. But moving back to a homeland Kethiwe had never seen, except in her imagination as a Utopian paradise, turned out to be a convoluted journey.
She grew up in England, where she felt like an outsider who didn't fit the model of the'typical' black immigrant - because her family were exiles. Her father's status as a prominent PAC (Pan African Congress) member rather than ANC (African National Congress) was an issue within the community of exiles. Now, in South Africa, Kethiwe is seen as British rather than South African. To add to the conflict, she has struggled to adjust to an extended African family structure and culture of slaughtering cows, sheep and goats. She grew up in a small nuclear family in a European setting. This leaves her straddling two worlds.
In her search for healing, Kethiwe goes back to London to reconcile with her British'roots'. She spends time with her sister and friends who have a background similar to hers. Back in South Africa, a Zulu ritual called ukwemula is performed for her and her sister. Her mother feels it is necessary so that the ancestors can release her from the protagonist - her inner struggle.
What Kethiwe realises in the end is that it does not really matter where you are: home is where your heart is. As her mother, Lauretta Ngcobo, says in the film,'Your rescue is within you.'
Directors: Minky Schlesinger & Kethiwe Ngcobo
Producers: Kethiwe Ngcobo and Renee Williams
Production Company: Fuzebox Productions
DOP: Minky Schlesinger
Editor: Marinda Joubert
Format: Digital Betacam
Length: 52 min (Berlinale, 2004) & 48min. (South African Film Festival, New York, 2004)
Language: English, Zulu
Executive Producers: Steven Markovitz, Letebele Masemola-Jones, Jennifer Fox
Commissioning Editors: SABC1 - Siven Maslamoney, Pat van Heerden
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of South African freedom, SABC1, South Africa's most watched channel, recruited and trained promising new directors to tell the stories of their ten years of freedom on film.
2004 - South African Film Festival, New York
North American Premiere
Tuesday, April 27, 2004 4:00pm
Saturday, May 1, 2004 5:00pm
2004 | Berlinale, Berlin, Germany
* World Premiere