The acclaimed documentary feature Freedom Square and Back of the Moon directed by Academy Award nominee Angus Gibson and celebrated artist and filmmaker, William Kentridge, will be screened at the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on 30 June 2019.

Freedom Square and Back of the Moon

Film producer, Anant Singh facilitated the participation of the film in Montreux’s film series programme held at the Cinéma Hollywood theatre, where he will introduce the film on 30 June 2019.

Freedom Square and Back of the Moon focuses on Sophiatown, the closest place to the city centre of Johannesburg, occupied by black South Africans. It was home to writers, journalists, artists, politicians – the black intellectual heart of the city. It is not surprising then that it was the first area to be targeted by the Nationalist Government for removals. In this documentary, Angus Gibson and William Kentridge use interviews, archive material, drawings and extracts from the protest play Sophiatown to explore the life and destruction of Sophiatown.

Spirit of Sophiatown

Anant Singh said, “Angus and William have created an amazing film that captures the spirit of Sophiatown – the vibrance of the community, the American-inspired fashion, all revolving around jazz in clubs like Back of the Moon which was frequented by Madiba and his friends. When I watched the film recently, I thought it was  a perfect fit for the Montreux Jazz Festival as jazz was such an important part of life in Sophiatown.”

Freedom Square and Back of the Moon

Angus Gibson commented, “The memory of Sophiatown is documented for posterity through Freedom Square and Back of the Moon and the jazz music that was loved by its people. We are grateful to Anant for identifying the Montreux Jazz Festival as a platform for our film, and we are delighted to be sharing this unique South African experience with the Montreux audience.”

An exhibition of the work of co-director, William Kentridge entitled William Kentridge: A Poem That Is Not Our Own, opened at the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland on 8 June 2019 and will run through to 13 October 2019.  The exhibition which features Kentridge’s extensive body of work, also includes an entire room of stage decors designed for the 1986 musical, Sophiatown.

Read more: William Kentridge at Norval Foundation and Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town 2019