The people behind the Black Lives matter movement in the U.S have taken it upon themselves to fight for the rights of American citizens with black skin and in South Africa, a documentary titled Black Lives Matter is looking to do the same.
Joseph Oesi, a South African journalist, and filmmaker was in London when the Marikana massacre occurred in 2012. For those unused to South African history, the Marikana massacre was a controversial silencing of striking miners by South African security forces.
It took place between the time period of 10th August and the 20th September 2012 and has been described as the single most lethal use of force by South African security forces against civilians since 1960.
The controversy surrounding the killings emerged after it was discovered that most of the victims were shot in the back and many of them were shot far from police lines.
Despite the fact that a mediator announced a resolution to the conflict, stating the striking miners had accepted a 22% pay rise, a one-off payment of 2,000 rand and would return to work 20 September, the strike was followed by similar strikes at other mines across South Africa.
Joseph Oesi had returned to South Africa in the wake of those events and had set about recording the documentary, Black Lives Matter, which probes how the country’s enormous mineral wealth has enriched the elites and more or less impoverished mining communities.
It is a documentary that does not hold back in depicting the anger of the people as community chiefs with the government sign off land and mineral resources to mining companies without consulting the people; sealing their fate in questionable deals that are not beneficial to their communities.
Black Lives Matter, looks at the rural communities of Mogales, Kekanas and Mapelas, which have the world’s richest deposits of platinum. A statement on the documentary website noted;
“Black Lives Matter explores how the mineral wealth, rightfully belonging to the people of South Africa, has been sold to capitalist interests for the enrichment of a few elite and at the expense of the country – and how traditional communities have been divided in this process”
The Black Lives Matter documentary premiered at the Durban International Film Festival, South Africa, on 19 June 2016. You can check out the trailer above.