The Red Place shows some colours of forgiveness

The Red Place shows some colours of forgiveness

Catherine White is moved by a documentary exploring vulnerability

Forgive and forget? That is not easy but sometimes it can be an extremely powerful process. The Red Place is about – as the tagline puts it in a very poetic way- the colours of forgiveness. It’s an incredibly profound and relevant topic, particularly for South Africans. We are taken along a journey as director and scritwriter Muofe Raphunga speaks to various people who share their stories and their thoughts on forgiveness. Her interview with Albie Sachs, a former constitutional judge and anti-apartheid activist, was particulalry inspiring.

This film formed part of Raphunga’s BA honours degree in film theory and practice at the University of Cape Town. As a student filmmaker myself, I was encouraged by the depth and weight of the subject matter that Raphunga explores as director and scriptwriter. In this biography we journey with her as she shares her own struggle to forgive her uncle’s murderer and interviews others about their experiences with forgiveness. I think every person who watches this film will have something to take away from it.

I have the utmost appreciation for filmmakers who are brave enough to share their stories and be vulnerable in front of the camera. In this film, that genuine vulnerability can be extremely powerful. The Red Place reminds me of Carla Van der Spuy’s book titled ‘Mens of Monster’, which looks at how every human possesses the ability to be a monster.

In a Q and A with Raphunga she states: “It’s not a secret that South Africa has gone through apartheid, segregation and white supremacy imposed on black and other communities. What I wanted to bring out was that we are all humans at the end of the day. Whether we are oppressors or oppressed, it is all about being a human being and finding that common ground of helping one another.”

The purpose of this film was clearly achieved and as it stirred up emotions inside me, it brought a tear to my eye. I recommend this film to all South Africans, particularly journalism students, who can learn much from Raphunga’s storytelling techniques

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