REBELLION & JOHANNESBURG is a bold and provocative dance film which tells the story of xenophobia, violence and resilience set to the backdrop of the Marikana mining massacre which took place in 2012 in Rustenburg, South Africa. The Marikana Massacre was the single most lethal use of force by South African security forces against civilians since 1960.
The film is a re-interpretation of the dance production of the same name, REBELLION & JOHANNESBURG, which premiered in Germany in September 2015, featuring choreographer Jessica Nupen. The film was shot in multi-cultural Neukölln, in an abandoned electrical building, host to some of Berlin’s largest immigrant communities in Germany.
This exhilarating contemporary dance film taps into the unique spirit of both Berlin’s and Johannesburg’s changing cultural landscapes. The dance film’s collaboration with Soweto-born music pioneer of ‘township tech’ Spoek Mathambo and Amanda Mukasonga, Rwanda-German rapper, poet and actress allows the film to expose the complexities of a younger generation grappling with transformation, multiple identities, race and the human migration crisis.
The short film features eight dancers from the South African dance company Moving Into Dance Mophatong, one of the few mixed race dance ensembles from South Africa, formed during the height of Apartheid. Impacting change since 1978 and continuing to do, the MID’s motto ‘Nyakaze o Fetohe’ – Making a Difference through Dance’ embodies its philosophy and practice of transforming lives, one dancer at a time.
This film aims to illuminate the bravery around one’s search for identity and also highlight our generation’s resistance to absolute authority and control. The story expresses the trials and rebellion of the ‘lost generation’ of post Apartheid South Africa and post GDR Germany.