What the Soil Remembers

What the Soil Remembers explores the rich history of a small Western Cape town called 'The Vlakte'. The film creatively highlights the town's cultural beauty and past, as well as the impact of Apartheid and the role of Stellenbosch University in the town's displacement.


IFFR Rotterdam (2023) – Winner: Ammodo Tiger Short Competition

Oberhausen Film Festival (2023) – Nominated: International Competition Grand Prize

Screenings – JHB
BioSun 25 June 2pm+ Q&A


José Cardoso


Ecuador | South Africa



Running Time:

30 min


English, Afrikaans

What the Soil Remembers is a captivating documentary that takes the audience on a journey through the rich history of a small Western Cape town called ‘The Vlakte’. The film carefully combines archive footage and contemporary visuals to highlight the town’s past, showcasing its cultural beauty and the harmony in which its people once lived. It delves into the memories of the town’s elders and youth, highlighting the love and cultural understanding that brought people from different backgrounds together. However, the film also explores the impact of apartheid and the role that Stellenbosch University played in the town’s displacement. Through creative storytelling, the film weaves the town’s history with the university’s contentious legacy to spark a necessary conversation about addressing the wrongs of the past. What the Soil Remembers is a powerful reminder of the importance of preserving the cultural heritage of small towns like The Vlakte and the impact of our actions.

The Whose Land is it Anyways? Shorts Block includes Our Land, The Gooseberry Grandmother and What the Soil Remembers

Previous Festivals

Afrika Film Festival

Durban International Film Festival

Sheffield Film Festival