February 2015, berlinale forum

B-Scheme Films

JOE BULLET (1973)

The Forum presents two fims of the B-Scheme project , an archive project and film programme on film productions for black viewers in 1970s and 1980s South Africa, initiated by Darryl Els as part of "Visionary Archive". Until the end of the Apartheid era, state funding was granted to numerous so-called B-Scheme films, which were shot by mainly white producers for black audiences. The 1973 gangster film JOE BULLETwas South African producer Tonie van der Merwe’s attempt to conquer a new market. Inspired in equal measure by the black pop culture of the time and the American Blaxploitation genre, Louis de Witt’s action-packed film about a manipulated cup final was one of the first to be shot with an all black cast. JOE BULLET offered its audiences a vision of life that did not correspond to the reality of most black South Africans under Apartheid. Although the film was not overtly political, it was swiftly banned and not screened for an extended period of time. Now this unique work has been restored and can be shown once again. UMBANGO (THE FEUD), directed by Tonie van der Merwe in 1986, is one of the few Westerns still in existence from this period, a typical Wild West story about the battle between good and evil. With the exception of one solitary gringo (who is shot dead at the very beginning), this hugely entertaining film was also shot with an entirely black cast. Director and producer Tonie van der Merwe will be our guest in Berlin for the screening of his films on February 6. On February 11 Darryl Els will present his project during a "Visionary Archive" panel at the Akademie der Künste. Both films will can be seen again on February 14 and 15.

More information on the Visionary Archive panel as part of the Forum Expanded programme

More information on Darryl Els' B-Scheme project

More information on Visionary Archive