While the book analyzes the themes that emerged from the 150 interviews conducted, the documentary film follows one family as they fight to regain their land stolen by the apartheid regime.
Sifuna Okwethu (We Want What’s Ours) is an evocative and visually captivating documentary film about loss, resistance, identity and the elusiveness of justice as experienced by the Ndolila family, and their quest to get back their family land. Standing in their way are working class black homeowners who purchased portions of the Ndolila’s land during Apartheid. For the homeowners, the land and houses they have legally purchased are a reward for their hard work. It is the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams for a better life in the new democracy. For the Ndolilas, the land is part of their family legacy and hence deeply intertwined with their identity. Both sides have a legitimate right to the land, but whose rights will prevail?
In the past, stories that explored land dispossession and restitution often pitted dispossessed black communities against the apartheid government or rich white farmers and landowners. Sifuna Okwethu charts a different path, which leads viewers towards a more complex understanding of the dynamics involved in dealing with the present-day consequences of past land theft.
For more information on the film, go to discwebsite.org.