Journal article

Da struggle kontinues: Zulu love letter and the audiovisual language of a African counter cinema


Publication Details

Author list: Valley D

Publisher: Routledge

Publication year: 2020

Journal: Safundi:Journal of South African and American Studies

Total number of pages: 4

ISSN: 1753-3171

eISSN: 1543-1304



Zulu Love Letter (2005) was ahead of its time in terms of its disenchantment with the then vaunted idea of the “rainbow nation” (when South Africa was under the spell of Madiba Magic) and in its innovative cinematic aesthetic. Unlike films such as Forgiveness (2004), Red Dust (2004) and In My Country (2004) that dealt with matters related to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Zulu Love Letter questioned the grand narrative of the new South Africa and drew attention to the tensions between official projections of reconci- liation and the continuing unfinished business of apartheid. Written by Bhekizizwe Peterson and directed by Ramadan Suleman, the film presents a black radical perspective on the problematics of forgetting and the lingering psychological trauma that apartheid inflicted on its victims. Central to this research, the film has a distinctive aesthetic quality that is both sublime and political. This article examines the audiovisual language of Zulu Love Letter with a particular focus on how the cinematography, editing and sound design work together to constitute, drawing on Kenqu and Wollen,a subversive counter-cinema through a style that, in line with its thematic intentions, grapples with the visual, sonic and affective challenges related to the depiction and appreciation of trauma, memory and healing.


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History and political science, Music, political violence, Race, race/ethnicity

Last updated on 2021-24-03 at 15:55