docLOVE November/ December: Milisuthando

docLOVE November/ December: Milisuthando

The docLOVE team are excited to launch our new season of films, supported by the PESP4 and National Film and Video Foundation, with Milisuthando.
Bertha House, Mowbray: 29 November 6pm | RSVP at
Bertha Cinema, Isivivana: 6 December 2023, 5pm | Seating is unreserved
The Bioscope Independent Cinema, 7 December 2023, 7pm | SOLD OUT
Waaihoek Wesleyan Church, Bloemfontein: 9 December, 2pm | Seating is unreserved
Movies @ Hemingways Mall, East London: 11 December at 6pm | RSVP:
Lenyenye Community Hall, 1504 Police Station Street, Tzaneen, 13 December at 2pm | Seating is unreserved



Set in past, present, and future South Africa — an invitation into a poetic, memory-driven exploration of love, intimacy, race, and belonging by the filmmaker, who grew up during apartheid but didn’t know it was happening until it was over. Filmmaker, writer and poet Milisuthando Bongela’s youth in South Africa was untouched by the​ horrors, violence, or even the presence of white occupiers to her land. At least that’s how it​ seemed.​ The Transkei, an unrecognized Black independent region established by the apartheid regime,​ created the illusion for Black South Africans that separate could be equal. And paradoxically for​ Bongela, life in The Transkei proved as idyllic as the propaganda claimed. Until it was over.​ The fall of apartheid ushered in a new life, one that included – for the first time – whiteness.​ MILISUTHANDO is a deeply intimate portrait of past, present and future South Africa, blending​ poetry, film, and photography into a striking cinematic essay. Bongela explores love, friendship​ and belonging in a South Africa stratified by racism – proving that only if we understand its​ tentacles, can we begin to extricate ourselves from its clutches.


Milisuthando Bongela is an award-winning writer, editor, cultural worker and artist. Her career began in the fashion industry but the last 15 years has seen her traverse the worlds of music, art, media and film – continually turning towards indigenous knowledge. For 3 years she was Arts Editor for the Mail & Guardian‘s Friday section and was host and co-producer of the podcast Umoya: On African Spirituality with Athambile Masola. After 8 years, she has recently completed her first film, a personal essay documentary titled MILISUTHANDO which had its world premier at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. She is an inaugural fellow of the 2020 Adobe Women at Sundance Fellowship.

Marion Isaacs – Producer​ – is a producer, curator, editor and writer-researcher with a love​ of storytelling, which she’s explored through her work in documentary film and museum curation.​ Her varied career has afforded her a sustained focus on questions of identity, race and gender,​ and the often eccentric dimensions of South African life in a radically global context. Her film​ repertoire includes Mandela and Me (2012), They Sacrificed for Our Freedom (EP, 2014), and her​ first feature documentary, The President Needs More Time (dir. Oliver Hermanus). Her second​ feature, Milisuthando (dir. Milisuthando Bongela), will premiere at Sundance 2023. Her museum​ work includes the Matola Interpretive Centre (Moz), the OR Tambo Narrative Centre (SA) and film​ work for Freedom Park (SA). She holds a Masters in African Studies (Oxford, UK) and she’s an​ alumna of the 2019 Sundance Institute Producers Summit and the 2022 Realness Creative​ Producers Indaba.

Hankyeol Lee – Editor and Cinematographer​ – is a filmmaker and photographer who is fascinated by topics​ of language and fractured identity. Her work as a director, cinematographer and editor is founded​ on the bedrock of collaboration and skillshare, which is a strong element of her approach to​ filmmaking. Her filmography includes BROR, a short documentary she directed about two 80-year​ old brothers living together in the idyllic town of Porkkala, Finland. She was the cinematographer​ and editor of I WANT TO SEE FOR MYSELF a short documentary about the legacy of Tennis hero,​ Arthur Ashe and the tennis centre he erected in Soweto, South Africa. She is a graduate of the​ University of the Witwatersrand, and has also lectured cinematography at the Wits School of Film​ and TV.