Event Date and time: October 28 | 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Event cost: £16
As thousands of students have taken to the streets across South Africa in recent months, calling for wide-ranging reforms, a praise song for Solmon Mahlangu could often be heard. It’s fitting, then, that 2016 should mark the year that his remarkable story finally makes it to the big screen, exactly forty years after the Soweto student uprisings in which Mahlangu played a key role. We meet Mahlangu as a 19-year-old hawker from the Mamelodi township, torn between selling veggies to support his family and joining his friends at the march on 16 June 1976. He skips the protest, but is brutally beaten by a police officer for jumping a train. This incident is a turning point for Mahlangu. Resolute, he goes underground with the ANC to train as a soldier. Mandla Dube’s feature debut is full of rich, sweeping cinematography that takes you right to the action’s nerve centre, and a superb turn from Thabo Rametsi in the titular role. But it’s so much more than this. That South Africans are finally able to watch an anti-apartheid story brought to the screen by a black filmmaker, and told wholly from the black perspective, makes Kalushi a seminal film on the country’s continuing path to equality.