On The Other Side Of Life

On The Other Side Of Life

By Stefanie Brockhaus, Andy Wolff


Lucky and Bongani pretend to be cool and in the know. To survive in a Cape Town township, they learned their lessons early: where to get drugs, where to get money, how to pick up girls and how to get rid of them.

Their mother does not pay much attention to her sons, but at least their grandmother is on their side. The two brothers share everything: the bed, the food and now even an accusation of murder. The first thing they get in prison is an unmistakable lesson about the rules there. No question, newcomers are always at the bottom of the hierarchy. They must learn quickly who may be attacked and who must be served. A matter of survival in jail.
Out on bail, something special awaits them – an initiation of a different kind.

The brothers move through three cultures, each of which calls for its own gestures and rituals. The deep rift between the generations becomes painfully obvious. The old people still have the sense of honour of African tradition; their successors have only a tiny chance of escaping the squalid suburbs. What will be their package in life?

Through a clever dramatic narrative structure, the film rises above a social environment study to become a far-ranging discourse about the future of an Africa ground to pieces between tradition and modernity.
Germany, South Africa 88 minutes 2010 English, Xhosa
  • Emerging Cinematic Vision Award (Winner) - 2010 Camden International Film Festival (Camden (United States))
  • FFF Documentary Award (Winner) - 2010 Munich International Documentary Film Festival (Munich, Germany)
  • Jury Award (Winner) - 2010 Milano Film Festival (Milan, Italy)
  • Starter Film Award (Winner) - 2010 Munich Film Festival (Munich, Germany)
  • Boston International Film Festival 2010 (Boston, USA)
  • Camden International Film Festival 2010 (Camden (United States))
  • Encounters: South African International Documentary Festival 2010 (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Milano Film Festival 2010 (Milan, Italy)
  • Munich International Documentary Film Festival 2010 (Munich, Germany)
  • SXSW Film Festival 2010 (Austin, United States)
  • True/False Film Festival 2010 (Columbia, United States)
  • Liepzig DOK Festival 2009 (Liepzig, Germany)

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