Down So Long

Garden Route International Film Festival

“Down So Long” was shot in a seaside township in Cape Town, South Africa. It stars an ensemble cast from the local community as well as three of South Africa’s top actors. “Down So Long” takes it’s central story line from the 1976 Italian classic, ”Brutti, Sporchi e Cattivi”, by Ettore Scola. Mr. Mabena is a Xhosa (black) man married to a coloured (creole) woman, Doreen. He lives a lonely and isolated life from his family and deeply longs for love. He suddenly receives a sizeable amount of money from insurance for the loss of his eye on the job as a welder at the Goed Baai boatyard. And life changes for the Mabenas. Joseph Mabena uses the money to wield power over his poverty-stricken and scheming family. Mabena’s family grows more resentful as he daily hides the money. Mabena’s growing paranoia and power isolates him even further until one day he falls into the arms of a stranger, the mysterious Esmerelda. He moves her into the family shack and all hell breaks loose. The family plots to kill Mabena by poisoning him and his full fall is set into motion. The story brings out the daily struggle of a family as it attempts to survive poverty with the central theme of deprivation within broader issues at play in the life of the poor of South Africa today.