This study analyses the historical development of South African cinema up to he book's original publication in 1988. It describes the films and comments on their relationship to South African realities, addressing all aspects of the industry, focusing on domestic production, but also discussing international film companies who use South Africa as a location. It explores tensions between English-language and Afrikaans-language films, and between films made for blacks and films made for whites.

Going behind the scenes the author looks at the financial infrastructure, the marketing strategies, and the works habits of the film industry. He concludes with a discussion of independent filmmaking, the obstacles facing South Africans who want to make films with artistic and political integrity, and the possibilities of progress in the future.

Includes comprehensive bibliography and filmography listing all feature films made in South Africa between 1910 and 1985 together with documentary films by South Africans, non-South Africans, and exiles about the country.

chapter |4 pages


chapter 1|16 pages


chapter 2|24 pages

Control by Subsidy

chapter 3|30 pages

Films for Blacks

chapter 4|12 pages

Film Movements

chapter 5|14 pages

The Reviewer Syndrome

chapter 6|30 pages

Film Critics

chapter 7|20 pages

Marketing a Product

chapter 8|20 pages


chapter 9|16 pages

Esthetic Labor

chapter 10|20 pages

Independent Cinema

chapter 11|16 pages

Social Polarization