Thursday, April 28, 2005


Tonight I saw a really fantastic film, Lionel Rogosin's 1959, clandestinely made "Come Back, Africa," about which he wrote a book that is now published.
The post-film Q&A was lovely. Rogosin's wife explained quite a bit about how the film was made using all non-actors, and under false pretenses. The fact that they were able to process the film and then send it to NY is pretty amazing. One of my guests at the theater told me that she had gone to highschool with Makeba's daughter. The film gave a devastating and very true picture of life under Apartheid, and reminded me of how I felt so conscious of the terrible injustices there for years and years in high school and college. I felt so passionately about what was going on and felt every day that I was party to a crime - that a crime was going on that I had to do something about. Now, more thanten years after the fall of Apartheid, conditions in the townships are still bad, as my friend Premesh would explain in detail. There are still conditions around the world about which, when I think about them, I have that same feeling; only now, I have less of a sense of my own capacity to have an effect. The comparable, wretched, hateful situation is in Israel/Palestine, where today settlers are protesting the most limited move to pull them out of their outposts on Palestinian land. Given the fact that the wall is well on the way to completion, I still conclude that historical conditions have not yet pushed Sharon into the deKlerk position on the eve of Apartheid's end. I certainly hope that I am wrong.

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