Popular actor Jafta Mamabolo has added writer and director to his title with the launch of his movie Freedom – a production he collaborated with director Ralph Ziman (Jerusalema, The Zookeeper) – which is now available on DStv Box Office. Freedom follows the journey of Freedom (played by Mamabolo), a disillusioned and desperate university student, clinging to an impossible existence in inner-city Johannesburg. Burdened by the weight of expectation and pretence, Freedom pawns his coveted textbooks to an amoral loan-shark, Alina, in order to find money to write his exams whilst at the same time taking care of his rural family. But when a change of mind finds him burdened with guilt and conflict, he turns to old friends as he learns that Johannesburg is a city that does not let you go so easily, life is a vicious cycle, and despite his noble efforts his fate is destined to a tragic ending.
Mamabolo says his “aim in creating this film was to shed some light on the current state of youth affairs in post-Apartheid South Africa. The film probes the meaning of freedom in the new South Africa. Are we truly a free nation if South Africa’s masses still don’t have full access to their human rights as enshrined in our world-class constitution? I don’t deign to have those answers but I believe that the conversation must be had nonetheless,“ said Mamabolo.
Set in contemporary Johannesburg, against the backdrop of the #FEESMUSTFALL movement, Freedom is inspired by Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and was conceptualized in 2014 with the screenplay written over four months by Mamabolo. The story was captured in Johannesburg’s hustle and bustle streets of Yeoville, Hillbrow, and Newtown over a period of six weeks in 2017, with post-production taking place in Los Angeles.
It features a star-studded cast including the late Mary Twala (This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection), two-time SAFTA award winner Mandla Gaduka (District 9, Generations), Kenneth Nkosi (White Wedding, District 9, Jerusalema), Samkelo Ndlovu (Rhythm City) and introduces newcomer Nicole Mathope as Sonia.
Freedom is currently available for rental exclusively on DStv Box-Office until Sunday, 5 September 2021.