Set in past and present South Africa, "Milisuthando" is a poetic coming-of-age personal essay documentary on love and what it means to become human in the context of race, explored through the memories of Milisuthando – who grew up during apartheid but didn't know it was happening until it was over.
8 years in the making, Milisuthando is a portrait of me and South Africa growing up together in the aftermath of apartheid. Driven by my narrative voice and a compelling cast of my family, friends, foes and some historical figures, the story braids together the three different worlds of my childhood — The now defunct Republic of Transkei, East London in the 1990s new South Africa and my adult life in Johannesburg. Spanning 30 years in a non-linear manner, the film is a meditation on difficult questions about power, fear, intimacy and love as it relates to race. Through a roving feminine lens, we find ourselves in happened-upon environments that take the viewer into the interiors of the new South Africa and its relationship with its past.
Sundance Institute: Meet the Artist 2023: Milisuthando Bongela
Milisuthando Bongela: Inside Apartheid's Wish (The Institute of Black Imagination)