On the other side of life


Lucky and Bongani pretend to be cool and in the know. To survive in a Cape Town township, they learned their lessons early: where to get drugs, where to get money, how to pick up girls and how to get rid of them.

Their mother does not pay much attention to her sons, but at least their grandmother is on their side. The two brothers share everything: the bed, the food and now even an accusation of murder. The first thing they get in prison is an unmistakable lesson about the rules there. No question, newcomers are always at the bottom of the hierarchy. They must learn quickly who may be attacked and who must be served. A matter of survival in jail.
Out on bail, something special awaits them – an initiation of a different kind.
The brothers move through three cultures, each of which calls for its own gestures and rituals. The deep rift between the generations becomes painfully obvious. The old people still have the sense of honour of African tradition; their successors have only a tiny chance of escaping the squalid suburbs. What will be their package in life?
Through a clever dramatic narrative structure, the film rises above a social environment study to become a far-ranging discourse about the future of an Africa ground to pieces between tradition and modernity.


a film by Stefanie Brockhaus & Andy Wolff

Directed by Stefanie Brockhaus & Andreas Wolff
Produced by Stefanie Brockhaus & Andy Wolff
Commissioning Editors Natalie Lambsdorff, Bayerischer Rundfunk and HFF München
Cinematography Stefanie Brockhaus & Andy Wolff
Film Editing Stefanie Brockhaus & Andy Wolff & Ulrike Tortora
Sound Design by Michael Hinreiter

Running time: 88 min.;
Countries of production: South Africa/Germany 2009

Master format: HDCamSR
Sound: 5.1 and stereo
Language: English, Xhosa with English subtitles


DOK Leipzig. Germany 2009
True/False, USA 2010
SXSW, USA 2010
Boston Independent Film Festivals, USA 2010
DOK Munich, Germany 2010
Encounters, South Africa, 2010
Duke City DocFest, New Mexico, USA 2010
Milano Film Festival, Italy 2010
CIFF, Camden Maine, USA 2010
TriContinental Festival, South Africa 2010


Int. Film Festival Milano Feature Award 2010
Ronda Feature Award 2010
FFF New Talent Award 2010, Best Documentary
New Talent Award City of Munich 2010, Best Documentary