South African Crime-Drama 'Dora's Peace' Opens With Local Critical Splash (Trailer, Poster)
Photo Credit: S & A

South African Crime-Drama 'Dora's Peace' Opens With Local Critical Splash (Trailer, Poster)

Indigenous Film Distribution
Indigenous Film Distribution

“Dora’s Peace” is a new South African crime-drama that opened in select theaters around the country on Friday; it’s a film that’s being hailed by some local press as something of a game-changer for South African cinema specifically.

According to the film’s distributor, South Africa-based Indigenous Film Distribution, the film follows Dora, a prostitute living out a precarious existence in Hillbrow. Now in her forties, she has seen it all. The years are catching up to her, and even she knows that the life she has known for so long will soon come to an end. Into her solitary life comes 12-year-old Peace, a talented artist and the son of one of her neighbors, a druggie who’s landed herself in a whole lot of trouble. Before long, Dora will be forced to make a decision – protect Peace from the bad guys or let them win, effectively sentencing an innocent child to death. She knows the streets, understands how they work and how to make them work for her. This time however, she faces her toughest challenge yet, as Dora comes up against her hardest opponent yet – her own truest nature.

“Dora’s Peace” is directed by Konstandino Kalarytis who also co-wrote the screenplay with Andrew Herold. The film stars Khabonina Qubeka, Hlubi Mboya, Ronnie Nyakale, Danny Keogh, Paballo Koza, Meren Reddy, and Denel Honeyball.

Following its Friday, August 26 release in South Africa, local critics have praised the film for its apparent daring and achievement. A small sample:

— “The film’s fast-paced editing, paired with commendable camera work and not forgetting the heart-palpitating action sequence central to the screenplay, will leave you begging for more just in the first 15 minutes. Predictable it is not, the screenplay is carefully crafted, filled with so many turns and twists that you never know where the story is going to go next… Dora’s Peace is not a magnum opus, nor does it feel like it’s trying to be. But as far as strong local film female leads are concerned, the film is leaving a strong footprint in SA cinema and Kalarytis’ style of filmmaking is setting a home-grown standard, especially in the crime drama genre.” The South African Sowetan.

— “Dora’s Peace has definitely raised the bar, with the cinematography, the cast and the music all at an international standard.” South Africa’s Independent Online.

— “The new crime drama ‘Dora’s Peace’ features a strong female cast in roles that highlight the complex circumstances that women experience,” says Film Contact.

And there’s more like the above…

The project is produced by One Man Band in collaborations with the South African National Film & Video Foundation.

Whether or not it’ll travel internationally isn’t set at this time. I certainly haven’t seen the film, so I can’t provide an informed opinion of it. I’m simply sharing what is being said about it locally, which certainly got my attention. But if it continues to receive strong word-of-mouth, it might – maybe some American and European festivals will pick it up.

In the meantime, here’s a trailer for “Dora’s Peace.”

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