Kalushi, which is an upcoming biopic about struggle icon Solomon Mahlangu has been hailed by its cast as one of the most important films to ever come out of the SA film industry.
After a 10-year wait‚ the film based on the life and execution of the anti-apartheid activist, will finally be released at local cinemas in March. The film stars Jafta Mamabolo‚ Thabo Rametsi and Pearl Thusi.
After a successful international film festival run and world premiere‚ the film’s director Mandla Dube said he was excited to bring the film home.
“It’s great because we will finally see Solomon Mahlangu being resurrected on the big screen and his legacy being given its proper attention‚” Mandla said.
Being able to screen the movies on home soil is a dream come true for Mandla. The director came up with the idea of Kalushi as a Wits University lecturer 10 years ago.
“I realised that my class did not fully understand who some of our struggle heroes were and what they stood for. So‚ I was introduced to Solomon’s family and I saw the empathy among the students towards the story of a hero who wasn’t celebrated enough‚” Mandla said.
He first tested the waters with a theatre play before moving the idea onto the big screen.
It was during this process that the producers fell in love with a young actor, who was determined to play the role of Solomon.
“It was a four-month audition and they had already given the role to another prestigious young South African actor. I literally came in and insisted reading for the role. I got into trouble for pushing it‚ but after my audition the entire casting team were in tears.
“It’s funny because prior to that everyone‚ even strangers‚ were telling me how perfect I would be for the role. It felt like the role chose me if I’m honest‚” the film’s lead actor Thabo Rametsi said.
Thabo was later awarded the Best Actor at the inaugural BRICS Film Festival in India last year.
Thabo said:“This film is not just good. It is great. It is a 100% South African. It is the Titanic of South African film and it really shows that we‚ as a nation‚ have the talent to produce a film as good as any on the international stage”.
Kalushi opens at local cinemas on March 10.