Action Comandante

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South Africa | 2016 | 90 minutes | Nadine Angel Cloete

Action Kommandant

The sister of South African anti-apartheid freedom fighter Ashley Kriel, who was shot and killed by police at age 20, reflects on how he became a symbol of youth resistance in the 1980s.

Friday, May 27, 2016

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  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Uptown

7:30 PM Date has passed Director Nadine Cloete scheduled to attend

Saturday, May 28, 2016

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  • On Standby
  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Uptown

12:30 PM Date has passed Director Nadine Cloete scheduled to attend

"Don't mourn for me. Organize." Ashley Kriel sings these words in a haunting final recording made days before his murder at the hands of South African police in July 1987. Kriel, a 20-year-old anti-apartheid activist and protest leader, was known as the "Che Guevara of Bonteheuwel" and was one of the freedom fighters mentioned by name in Nelson Mandela's speech upon his release from prison in 1990. In addition to Kriel's life—told through the voices of his family and a variety of fellow freedom fighters who fought alongside him—Action Comandante also scrutinizes the South African Truth and Reconciliation trials, especially the contentious testimony by the officer who admitted to killing Kriel. Director Nadine Angel Cloete brings her youthful vitality to this portrait with energetic editing and propulsive musical transitions, amplifying Kriel's intense speeches and the dangerous stories of activism in a country desperately trying to hold onto its antiquated values. It is surprising that, almost 30 years after his death, this is the first feature film to examine his cultural importance and place in South African history. Still, it is an important lesson for all who seek to be inspired by someone who saw injustice and fought to make the world a better place.

Director Biography
Nadine Cloete, a filmmaker based in Cape Town, debuts her first feature-length film, Action Comandante, the story of the South African freedom fighter Ashley Kriel. Cloete previously directed several short documentary films, including Jitsvinger: Maak it aan and Miseducation, which have aimed to spark global discussion on social and cultural issues.

Sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, African Studies Program in the Jackson School of International Studies

  • Director: Nadine Angel Cloete
  • Premiere Status: World Premiere
  • Country: South Africa, Lesotho
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
  • Producer: Nadine Angel Cloete
  • Screenplay: Zulfah Otto-Sallies, Muneera Sallies, Jarryn Katia, Nadine Angel Cloete
  • Cinematographers: Christopher Wessels, Dylan Valley, Eeb Hajee, JJ Harris, Kurt Orderson
  • Editors: Khalid Shamis
  • Music: Kyle Shepherd
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • Format: BluRay