An Inconsolable Memory [documentary film]

Modified on Tue, 4 Oct, 2022 at 5:24 PM

Kaganof, Aryan, dir. 2013. An Inconsolable Memory [documentary film]. South Africa: DOMUS. 

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An Inconsolable Memory (Aryan Kaganof, 2013) documents a reconstruction of South African “Eoan Opera Group”. It is an exercise in getting at the truth, not only showing what it meant to be “a coloured” during the apartheid regime, but also evoking the painful memories of that time. Interviews with former members of Eoan, photos, newspaper clippings, sound recordings, archive footage of opera performances and street scenes give an impression of the world in which these people lived in Cape Town’s District 6. By paying attention to the way in which the documentary was made – to questions that were not asked and answers that were not officially given – the painful truth behind the images and faces is gradually revealed. Within the film, expressions of memories and truths introduce dreamlike sequences that enable contemplation of these terms and their relationship to the complex dilemmas faced by the people who lived under apartheid. Was it better to refuse support from the hated “Department of Coloured Affairs,” and thereby seal Eoan opera company’s demise? Or accept this support and allow the opera company to make history, while simultaneously being condemned as collaborators?

An Inconsolable Memory (trailer) from h e r r i on Vimeo.

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