Category Archives: flim

A Place in the City – short reviews

A Place in the City – short reviews

A Place in the City was filmed, produced and directed by Jenny Morgan, made with assistance from Fahamu and is distributed via JourneyMan Pictures.

The film can be purchased from Fahamu and there is a long excerpt on YouTube.

‘Compulsory viewing for government and the broader society’
— Sunday Tribune, Durban

‘The film is truly excellent, and for those of us involved daily with evictions, resistances and processes, I can tell you that it is very inspiring and well-documented. It brings to light the extraordinary capacity of simple people treated unfairly by an unjust system to keep faith in their future and their capacities and, despite their hardships, to think of a better and more humane world, not only for their neighbours or their brothers and sisters, but way beyond this. They are dreaming, and they are building a more just world, for all of us, and for our children.

‘This film, in its simplicity and respect, is an invaluable contribution for the hundreds of communities facing eviction, and to all of those who are still struggling for a better world. I hope that you can find the resources to have the voice of Abahlali heard in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese and more.’

–Professor Yves Cabannes
Chair of Development Planning, University College London
Chairperson, Advisory Group on Forced Evictions to the United Nations

‘A Place in the City is an extremely important film which shows that while Apartheid maybe over in South Africa, class and housing inequalities are still very evident. In some cases the current political regime’s treatment of the so-called “slum dwellers” around Durban is worse than that experienced at the height of the Apartheid era. The resilience of people who reside in these well-established but inadequately resourced communities is remarkable, and expertly captured in the film. All those in the film speak with clarity, dignity and commitment – they hold a strong sense of hope of achieving their goals and being able to maintain their “rightful” place in the city.

‘For anyone teaching geography, global, urban or development studies, or focusing on aspects of global social justice, this is an excellent resource. It represents insight without patronising, reality without pity, and demonstrates the strength of people who materially have so little and yet can articulate powerful and accurate politics.’

–Dr Tracey Skelton
Department of Geography, National University of Singapore

‘Anyone interested in contemporary South Africa should watch this film to learn more about the plight of South African civil society for equal rights, and the inspiring work of the Abahlali movement.’

– Dr Lindiwe Dovey
Lecturer in African Film at SOAS, University of London

‘A Place in the City offers some fascinating insights into the struggle for rights in South Africa’s informal settlements today. It captures Abahlali baseMjondolo’s work in mobilising shack-dwellers through activists’ own words, and presents this through footage that sensitively explores the harsh realities of people’s everyday lives. This is a thought-provoking film that will be of interest to anyone concerned with issues around urban development and grassroots social movements in contemporary Africa.’

—Dr Glyn Williams
Department of Town and Regional Planning
University of Sheffield

‘A Place in the City is one of those rare films that is both very well produced and insightful by virtue of its clarity and dispassionate documentary style. It is no less powerful for that. Moreover, it lends itself to use in different contexts: lectures and seminars, leadership training, general awareness raising, and policy advocacy. I have been looking for just such a resource to update my South African library for several years. This film deserves the widest possible exposure.’

–Professor David Simon
Head of Department
Professor of Development Geography
Department of Geography
Royal Holloway
University of London