Tamarind - the Ethnic Minority Film and a way beyond

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Someone once told me: ""In order to write well, you have to write what you know"" - this piece of advice seems obvious and simple and yet - as it turned out, it was the most difficult piece of advice to process and follow. The reason: what I know was that I was a young, female, Cape Malay filmmaker. My experiences, has largely taken place within the Cape Malay community. Religious documentaries aside, I had never before seen any representation of myself, or may community on screen. The task I had set myself seemed impossible. I had researched Thirld world theory in cinema and the weight of expectation that I felt afterward seemed a burden too hard to carry. This was not because I was in unchartered territory, but because this path has been walked by many before me: African-American filmmakers; Non-resident Indian filmmakers; Pilipino-American filmmakers; Mexican-American filmmakers; Afro-Brazilian filmmakers; Asian-American filmmakers. The list goes on and on. The one common thread is that these people felt a need to provide another point of view other than the ones seen in mainstream film and television. Their films have been like voices for the token characters that we've seen in countless mainstream films.