Teboho Edkins

Film screenings: Initiation and Gangster Backstage

08.02.2017 18:00

In cooperation with Megaphon.

Venue: Space04

This evening is part of the “Where film cultures meet series organised by Megaphon magazine and marks the start of the exhibition Dizziness. Navigating the Unknown (opening on 09.02.2017 in Kunsthaus Graz).


Other partner: Café Global. In relation to Africa  


In English and German language.    


6pm    first viewing 
7pm    talk and second viewing   

Teboho Edkins (*1980) became well known for his short films and documentary films about life in South Africa after apartheid had ended. Having grown up in Lesotho (his mother is German, his father South African), his films are shaped by a search for borders: between belonging and intrusion, between documenting and fictional storytelling, between film and video art. His work often reflects on processes of creativity, filmmaking and life.

His films and projects have already been presented internationally and received international prizes. In 2014, he won the main prize of the International Jury at the International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen for his film Gangster Backstage.


“By turns intense and gentle, Edkins, who doesn’t worry about genres, investigates the complex reality of life at the edge, where the immediate proximity of death is part of daily reality. As an exploration of private stories alternating between onstage and backstage, this perceptive work is an outstanding film portrait.”

– Jury of the International Competition



Initiation, 2016


Colour film, sound, digital, 10 min


High up in the mountains of Lesotho, 10-year-old Mosaku waits for his brother to return. After a five-month initiation ceremony, which took place in a hidden place with a group of young men, he returns to the village a changed person. The viewers only hear about which rituals and treatments have taken place from those who speculate about events.


Gangster Backstage, 2013


Colour film, digital, 38 min


There is a casting in South Africa. Teboho Edkins interviews gangsters and asks them to act out their everyday life on stage. What is exceptional about the situation is that the film increasingly reveals that the protagonists are not professional actors from Cape Town, but real gangsters. Relevant experience was welcomed. Scenes on an empty, increasingly cramped and oppressive stage, which conveys a sense of danger, alternate with intimate and moving interviews. The viewer is reminded of the important film Dogville by Lars von Trier (2003), as the stage becomes a heterotopic space far away from norms and a performance that walks a line between fiction and reality turns the scenes into a nightmarish prison, or conjures up a confessional, stirring up powerful images of death, which is threating and ever-present.



Courtesy of Kai Middendorff Galerie, Frankfurt  



Teboho Edkins

* 1980 in Tennessee, USA. Lives and works in Berlin and Cape Town.



More about the “Where film cultures meet” series organised by MEGAPHON magazine

More films as part of the “Where film cultures meet” series organised by Megaphon magazine

18th of January: TOMORROW, 27th of January: MINOR BORDER, 1st of February: KINDERS, 8th of February, 7pm: GANGSTER BACKSTAGE and INITIATION, 16th of February: DER WERT DES LEBENS

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