The ‘rainbow nation’ – a term that is fast joining the ranks of South African history, used only to refer to a time when the country treated deep apartheid-era wounds with little more than a plaster, under the guise of a reconciled nation. It is now indeed, as Lebogang Rasethaba’s latest film posits, The People versus the Rainbow Nation.
After being approached by MTV South Africa, the Future Sounds of Mzansi director and filmmaker has just wrapped up filming, having started on the project towards the end of 2015 when student protests were coming off the back of #RhodesMustFall movements and reaching nationwide heights in the #FeesMustFall movement.
The film essentially documents the lives of students attending South African tertiary education systems and how they navigate their existence in the very systems they oppose.
“As more and more happened on campuses across the country, I had to keep changing the topic, but essentially it’s a film about young people in South Africa, standing at the intersectional mark of politics, history, racism, sexism, and more, trying to navigate it all while attending universities that are themselves a microcosm of larger society,” explains Lebogang.
With protest action still taking place at institutions nationwide, The People versus The Rainbow Nation looks set to be a poignant and timely film seeking to provide insight into a nationwide conversation sparked from and driven by the students themselves. “I’m hoping it can give young people a lexicon to understand society today as well as provide older generations with the resources they never had when it comes to understanding contemporary politics,” he adds.
Header image by Imraan Christian.