The Films That Made Me” returns to DIFF

Khalo Matabane (© Supplied)

This year, DIFF is delighted to announce that it has invited acclaimed South African filmmaker, Khalo Matabane (director of ‘State of Violence’ and ‘Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me’), to curate a selection of films he considers influential in his cinematic career to festival audiences. The films will screen at 9.30am every day from July 18 to 22 (venue details below).
Matabane explains his selection:
“Do the Right Thing directed by Spike Lee (1989) is a film that made a huge impact on me - the reason I became a filmmaker. It is personal for me – the race questions it raises are timeless, the humour and its stylistic approach.
“‘A Short Film About Killing’ directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski (1988) is a film that has haunted me for years - Mirosław Baka’s strong face, its strong anti-death penalty message and its artistic beauty. Kieslowski has made some other great films, such as ‘Three Colours: Blue’, but this film in particular has stayed with me.
“I am a big Scorsese fan. He is one of the few filmmakers whose early films I truly love with my head and heart. ‘Raging Bull’ directed by Martin Scorsese (1980) is a film about broken men, about violence and, I would argue, is the director’s finest film.
“Hitchcock is one of the greatest filmmakers in the world - period. I love many of his films, like ‘Psycho’, but ‘Rear Window’ (1954) is, for lack of better phrase, really a mind ****!
“The title of the ‘Decline of the American Empire’ (Denys Arcand 1986) I love because it captures the state of the world in which we live. Denys Arcand is truly an under-appreciated filmmaker.”
Khalo Matabane was born June 18, 1974 in Ga Mphahlele, a village in Limpopo, South Africa. He has directed numerous documentaries, drama series, campaigns, and commercials, and has taught about cinema and politics at schools. Along with his work as a filmmaker, Khalo Matabane also occasionally writes about cinema and politics.
His first feature film ‘State of Violence’ (2010) screened to critical acclaim at Toronto and the Berlinale. Set in Johannesburg, it is the story of a man whose wife gets killed in what seems like a random act of violence. He goes on a journey searching for the killers only to find out that he is the son of a man he killed in the 1980’s during the struggle in the township.
Khalo’s newest film, ‘Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me’ will open the documentary section of DIFF on 18 July at 7pm at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. The film seeks to find out if Mandela’s philosophies of forgiveness, reconciliation and freedom resonate currently in a world that is plagued with injustice and social inequalities.
The Durban International Film Festival includes more than 200 theatrical screenings and a full seminar and workshop programme, as well as the Wavescape Film Festival, the Wild Talk Africa Film Festival, and various industry initiatives, including the 7th Talents Durban (in cooperation with Talents Berlinale ) and  the 5th Durban FilmMart co-production market (in partnership with the Durban Film Office).  For more information go to
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