Back of the Moon directed by Angus Gibson


Robyn Sassen

A freelance arts writer since 1998, I fell in love with the theatre as a toddler, proved rubbish as a ballerina: my starring role was as Mrs Pussy in Noddy as a seven-year-old, and earned my stripes as an academic in Fine Arts and Art History, in subsequent years. I write for a range of online and print publications, including the Sunday Times, the Mail & Guardian and and was formerly the arts editor of the SA Jewish Report, a weekly newspaper with which I was associated for 16 years.
Robyn Sassen


DOOMED lovers: Eve Msomi (Moneoa Moshesh) and Bra Max (Richard Lunkunku). Photograph courtesy citybuzz

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REPLETE WITH ITS jazz dives, camaraderie and poetry, its dinginess, brothels and gangs Sophiatown aka Kofifi was a suburb in Johannesburg that was an apartheid loophole until 1955. It was the one place in which black people could live in relative harmony with people of all colours, free to gamble and make art, write literature and chill. Deemed a melting pot of culture by many historians, the area was rife with life. But the late 1950s saw all of this destroyed when under the Group Areas Act, the police forcibly moved all Sophiatown’s black citizens into a barren plot of ground called Meadowlands, in Soweto. Angus Gibson’s new film Back of the Moon takes a slice of this world and with a sprinkling of King Kong narrative and a peppering of fact, magicks a keyhole insight to the era by way of a love story.

And with a gorgeous leading lady opposite a tough gangster with a soft…

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