Local kids star in story of love

Director of the movie, Love and Faya, Eugene Paramoer, and assistant director, Yusra Peters, talk to the young actors about the next scene.

A film-maker’s childhood dream will finally come true, as filming in Bonteheuwel for the movie, Love and Faya, had everyone talking about it in the community.

Directed by Eugene Paramoer, Love and Faya is inspired by
Mr Paramoer’s childhood and a book he read as a youth – Days and Nights of Love and War – a book by Uruguayan author, Eduardo Galeano.

“This all started when I was 12 years old, and part of the Ravensmead Youth Students Organisation, which was part of the resistance struggle. I was also involved with civic and youth structures in Belhar from 1984 to the 1990s. In my life, that period was the most vivid and powerful moment. I spent the quiet times of my life trying to understand that moment.

“I chose the frame as my weapon and not the political struggle. A lot of the work in the film is based on my insights and experiences.

“The book, Days and Nights of Love and War, gave a beautiful insight as to how beautiful the human resilience is. In that book I found the human care – which I think is the missing story of South Africa’s liberation story.

“A lot of my work in the film is memory work – coming from the understanding that we need to go back to understand the present,” Mr Paramoer said.

The movie Love and Faya tells the story of 13-year-old Thomas and 14-year-old Angie who fall in love while both serving the liberation struggle.

“They try to honour the love they have for each other, but they are also activists who want to serve and honour their people.

“The story is about this relationship being under pressure. This intimate relationship can teach us all a lesson, especially when it comes to gender violence, lack of care, tenderness in relationships and emotional skills – especially the boy child. They have to make hard choices,” Mr Paramoer added.

The movie is aimed at the youth. ABout 70% of the cast members are young people from the age of 11 to 19. It is set from the 1980s to the present. Mr Paramoer said he chose to shoot part of the movie in Bonteheuwel, because of the area’s rich history around the struggle against apartheid.

“Bonteheuwel is such a dramatic representation of the story. There is something more intense about how young people in Bonteheuwel fought in the struggle.

“If one thinks of the young activists of the Bonteheuwel Military Wing (BMW), for example. They were the young dreamers of their generation.

“All the young people we work with are amateur actors. We believe the children of Bonteheuwel are more capable of telling the story, and their performances were sterling,” he said.

The film crew spent two weeks in the area – this after auditions were held at schools in Langa and Bonteheuwel.

Mr Paramoer explained that this movie is not a commercial project, and that they are not trying to emulate anyone.

Also, because funding for the film is limited, experienced crew teamed up with younger film-makers, and other partnerships.

“We have a dream that cinema can be created with the community – for social and community restoration. Everything we have done, involved the community, including the Bonteheuwel library, the Bonteheuwel Joint Peace Forum, Inside Out Youth Initiative, Bonteheuwel Historical and Cultural Society, schools and the multi-purpose centre. We share the problems and solutions of community partners.”

The film crew include Christopher Wessels, Ricardo Koopman, Siraaj Larney, Grant Bauman, Khalid Shanis and Yusra Peters.

It is hoped that the movie will go into pre-production by June. However, more funding needs to be secured.

“We have a supremely talented and enthusiastic team. We have some amazing children telling the story. We want to be able to honour the movie by contributing to the households to pay those working on the production. So we need to seriously call on people who see the importance of memory work to assist us. With their support, we can make this story visible,” Mr Paramoer said.

If you would like to assist, or want to know more about the production, Love and Faya, The Movie, has social media pages on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and their contact details are also on those sites.