Of Good Report unbanned, screens in Cape Town

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Controversial film Of Good Report was this weekend screened in Cape Town as it starts its tour to movie festivals worldwide.

The film was banned for alleged child pornography when it was meant to open Durban’s film festival on July 25. Film director Jahmil Qubeka said the nude scenes of lead actress Petronella Tshuma, 23, were no reason to ban their film though. The film has since been unbanned.

Close up shots of Tshuma’s nipples and a full frontal nude shot of her body were all meant to show the reality of life in South Africa, said Qubeka.

“Look at the statistics. Teenagers are having babies,” said Qubeka.

The Xhosa language black-and-white film unfolds in an Eastern Cape township and shows how a teacher starts a sexual relationship with one of his learners.

“Men are wolves. And this film is about man’s war against women. We don’t talk about it… I’ve been around women being beaten up and they still engage the perpetrator after that. I grew up amongst wolves,” said Qubeka.

Tshuma said the film “depicts what happens in real life”.

“This shows the sick society we live in. Facing the truth seems to still be a problem for South Africa,” she said.

The mother of a five-year-old said she was “teary” when Of Good Report, her first feature film, was banned.

“People asked me parents what they thought about it. Now I just encourage people to watch this film,” she said.

Lead actor Mothusi Magano plays the misogynistic teacher with a violent undertone. He said he “could understand his perspective even though it’s not right”.

“The character grew up with a woman who did not love him. Look at the society where he grew up. He’s the victim too. We should all take responsibility for this,” said Magano.

Qubeka plans to take legal action against the Film and Publications Board for “defamation” after it banned his film.

“I’m going to sue the crap out of them. We are busy with that legal action now. We are looking at a defamation claim. We have a lawyer who has offered us this pro bono. We can drag this out for as long as possible,” he said.

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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