Life is Art- The Story of Paul Grootboom| 47mins
Director: Jonathan Boynton-Lee | Producer: Kevin Harris
Focus Years: 2009 | Country: South Africa
Naked actors simulating sex on stage, a pregnant woman being kicked in the stomach, and fathers raping their sons welcome to the world of the award-winning theater director Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom. The departure from the usual escapist fare of musicals, revues, and NEPAD-like productions that feature forgotten African rituals, has led to Grootboom, who has no formal theater training, being described as a revolutionary by critics.
Paul's art taps into a reality of township life as it is lived today, and reflects the broad canvas of South Africa, forgoing the rainbow nation, picture-perfect story, and focusing on real people with real issues. On our journey with Paul, we explore the new worlds that he breathes life into, worlds that many great playwrights and directors have feared to expose so crudely and honestly. In this respect Paul is at the forefront of new era of artists.
But what are shock tactics for some, are remnants of a troubled past for Paul. "Life is Art" takes an intimate look at his own troubled childhood, his anger at the mother who abandoned him, and his unconventional entry into the world of theater, where he has found therapy and refuge.