Milisuthando Bongela's coming-of-age documentary explores growing up in South Africa during and after Apartheid. Bongela blurs the lines between personal and historic, object and subject, and citizen and country. The film is an original and poetic meditation.


San Francisco International Film Festival (2023) – Nominated: Golden Gate Award: Best Documentary Feature

Seattle International Film Festival (2023) – Nominated: Documentary Competition

Sundance Film Festival (2023) – Nominated: Grand Jury Prize: World Cinema – Documentary

SA Premiere
Screenings – CT
V&A SK12ON (Invite Only)Thu 22 June 7pm
Bertha IsiFri 23 June 2pm+ Q&A
Lab1Sat 24 June 8.30pm+ Q&A


Milisuthando Bongela


South Africa | Colombia



Running Time:

115 min



Milisuthando Bongela grew up during Apartheid but didn’t know it was happening until it was over. This film, in which she is both the central protagonist and the director, reconstructs that experience and its impact on the years that follow. Startlingly original and making rich use of archival footage and home videos, the film reveals the blurry nature of the boundaries that lie between object and subject, between the personal and the broadly historic, and between the twin fictions of citizen and country. Set in past and present South Africa, including the no-longer existing Transkei, Milisuthando combines a deeply poetic coming-of-age narrative with a complex meditation on power, fear, intimacy, love and race, as well as the ways in which both countries and individual identities are constructed. In the process, she expands the boundaries of the documentary form.


Panel Moderator: Francois Verster

Director: Milisuthando Bongela

Previous Festivals

Cartagena Film Festival (FICCI) (2023)

Doc Days Film Festival (2023)

Durban International Film Festival (2023)

Festival de Cine Africano (2023)

Hot Docs Film Festival (2023)

Melbourne International Film Festival (2023)

New Directors / New Films Festival (2023)

San Francisco Film Festival (2023)

Sawubona Africana Film Festival (2023)

Sheffield Doc Fest (2023)

True/False Film Festival (2023)