South Africa | 41 MINUTES | English, Zulu |
WITH ALL MY CHILDREN
Beatrice Kubheka is a single mother who raised two sons on her own. She has a successful advertising career and all the trappings of success, including a brand-new home and a Mercedes-Benz. Her oldest son Nhlanhla is unable to work following a serious accident, while her younger son Miles climbs the corporate ladder at Microsoft by day and pursues his master's degree at night. With All My Children could be the portrait of a modern American family, but for the fact that the Kubhekas live in Soweto, South Africa. Beatrice clearly raised both her sons to be compassionate and ambitious, telling them: "What's important is freeing yourself before someone else frees you." However, Nhlanhla was raised during the apartheid era, while Miles came of age in Nelson Mandela's South Africa. Nhlanhla is unable to challenge himself in any way, and is possessed by a vague and unspecific hopelessness. By contrast, Miles is as industrious and proactive as his older brother is lethargic. Director Khulile Nxumalo captures the family at a pivotal juncture -- simultaneously reeling from the effects of the oppressive apartheid regime and reaping the rewards of the economic freedoms that came with its downfall. With All My Children is an unforgettable directorial debut that succeeds in revealing the raging heart of a country struggling to embrace optimism without denying the damage the past has wrought.