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Memories of Rain| 2hr : 21mins
Director: Gisela Albrecht/Angela Mai | Producer: Angela Mai
Focus Years: 2004 | Country: Germany
Subject Tags: africa, inter-cultural relations, politics, race, south africa
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
"Memories of Rain" tells the story of Jenny C. and Kevin Q., two South Africans, her from the white world, he from the Black, who fought as commanders in the intelligence service of the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC) against the apartheid government. The film is not a historical study of the armed struggle of the ANC but the story of two people’s personal experiences, of how they grew up and became involved in the underground, of their goals and ideals, and of the struggle to maintain these when confronted with the dark side of a military conflict. It is the story of a life spent in exile, which leads Kevin through the ANC military camps in Angola and Jenny through intelligence training in the former German Democratic Republic in East Berlin. But it is also a story of working underground inside South Africa itself, of a life spent in camouflage, of being cut off from normal society, a life of self-discipline so rigid that it threatens to destroy spontaneity, and leaves no space to live the empathy which motivated the young cadres in the first place. A life where the individual’s needs succumb to those of the collective. A life of overburdening responsibility and of being driven to further and further extremes. In the attitudes and experiences of Jenny and Kevin, and of those around them, a picture emerges of humanity and bravery, of dedication and sacrifice. But their lives are fraught, too, with pain and guilt, with doubt and disappointment, as the contradictions of the armed struggle unfold around them. Shooting began in 1994 when South Africa elected their first democratic government . A very personal narrative thread leads the way through the film, and a number of those who shared Jenny and Kevin’s lives help to tell the tale.
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Angela Mai



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