Set predominantly in the spectacular Eastern Cape of South Africa, THEMBA, is the moving story of a young Xhosa boy who dreams of being a soccer star and longs for his absent father to return home. His non-idyllic childhood in the rural Eastern Cape comes to an abrupt end when his mother is forced to look for work in Cape Town after losing her job, and he and his sister are left in the care of her lover. After Themba is raped, he and his sister go to look for their mother in Cape Town even though his soccer team stands to win the Eastern Cape Junior championships. They find her dying of AIDS. Themba has to force the fact that he, too, is infected. Against all odds, he realizes his soccer dream and plays for Bafana Bafana. This gives him the courage to take a public stand and tell the world that he is HIV positive. Written by
I went for this movie at the Pune International Film Festival today. I'd half agreed only because my friend said it had Jens Lehmann in it, and basically I love sports movies.
But Themba is so much more than a soccer movie. Its not the best movie ever made, but its certainly an exhilarating experience, right from the beautiful east-cost South African coast line to the laid back Capetown. Truly, one of the line of those excellent African world cinema features, read Hotel Rwanda, Last King of Scotland, Blood Diamond , et al. Themba is an extremely talented young boy who lives in beautiful countryside South Africa with his mom and sister. The life is extremely poverty ridden and diseased.
But, despite a string of despairing events and hardships, Themba wants to keep fighting for his dream to represent the South African national football team - the Bafana Bafana. The movie also sends out a lots've messages, especially focusing on HIV, and the situation in Africa.
Themba is in no way very original, and we've all seen movies about achieving dreams despite adversity, but its beautifully strung together, and the locations and filming are out of the world. Its a sweet little story, but truly a very strong one at that. Watch it for just going through the essence of mesmerizing cinematography once again.
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