Skip to main content

Closed Captions Icon  Showing with closed captions

Screening FREE as part of our For Viola series, which centres Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC)-led stories and filmmakers, named in honour of Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond. Learn more >>

Expansive and scintillating, Milisuthando is at once grand and intimate in its examination of history, power, race, friendship, and belonging in modern South Africa. Lending her own name to its title and refracting the racial dynamics of the country through her biography, Milisuthando Bongela’s essay film brings a rare, invaluable sense of nuance to chapters of history typically written in broad strokes. The layered narrative moves from her childhood in the state-orchestrated country-meets-enclave of Transkei, to the nation’s first integrated schools, to the lingering power dynamics that still inform race relations. Incorporating archival material, interviews, video art and raw, powerful handheld sequences, Milisuthando troubles everything from the legacy of Nelson Mandela to accepted narratives of post-apartheid South Africa. Astute in its examination of whiteness and the insidious nature of its power, this is a rare film situated within a specific national context that resonates far beyond its borders. Jesse Cumming


  • Director(s)

    • Milisuthando Bongela
  • Producer(s)

    • Marion Isaacs
  • Executive Producer(s)

    • Jessica Devaney
    • Anya Rous
    • Charlotte Cook
    • Brenda Robinson
  • Co-Executive Producer(s)

    • The Dobkin Family Foundation
  • Co-Producer(s)

    • Viviana Gómez Echeverry
    • Sonia Barrera Gutiérrez
  • Writer(s)

    • Milisuthando Bongela
  • Editor(s)

    • Hankyeol Lee
  • Cinematography

    • Hankyeol Lee
  • Composer

    • Neo Muyanga
    • Msaki (Asanda Lusaseni)
  • Sound

    • Muthu Matjie
  • Art

    • Francis Burger with Edition Verso (Artwork and Typography)
  • Visit the film's website

Promotional Partners

Community Partner: JAYU

Get the latest from Hot Docs

Sign up for e-news and keep up to date with the latest from Hot Docs and Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
  • Advance notices about upcoming films
  • The latest on festival dates and tickets
  • Customize your preferences
  • Unsubscribe at any time
Sign up