HomeCompany NewsSA film "The Fury” bring the reality of GBV to mainstream entertainment

SA film “The Fury” bring the reality of GBV to mainstream entertainment

The Fury is a South African film, streaming on Prime Video, which addresses the very relevant and current concerns around GBV brings this very sensitive and relevant topic to mainstream entertainment.

In the run-up to this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign, which runs from 25 November to 10 December, Prime Video hosted a panel discussion with key crew and cast members and notable GBV activists, to cast a spotlight on a scourge which impacts an untold number of women and children in South Africa.

Hosted by well-known TV and radio personality Penny Lebyane, the panellists included The Fury’s writer and director Tim Greene; Grizelda Grootboom, an activist against human trafficking who supports fellow survivors undergoing rehabilitation; Mandisa Mashego, a feminist, an opponent of patriarchy, and a politician; Thishiwe Ziqubu , the film’s lead cast member; and Robin Davis, who runs a foundation to raise funds for the less fortunate youth with a special emphasis on boy children who have no male role models in their lives.   The debate was held at the Women’s Jail, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, a fitting symbol for the oppression and struggle that women continue to face.

The film focuses on avenging angel Zola Kunene, who, unable to find justice for her sister who killed herself after being raped a decade ago, lures the man she believes responsible to an empty apartment. She ties him up and puts on a show-trial, live-streamed on social-media. The public will be judge and jury. Should it be necessary, Zola will be the executioner.

“The film is an expression of fury and the levels of rage I felt towards gender-based violence in South Africa. The seeds for this story were sown during the 2018 hearings to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court despite credible, powerful allegations of sexual assault, which were effectively swept under the carpet.  As a white male in South Africa, this is not my struggle, yet through filmmaking, I had the power and the opportunity to bring this very real issue to life,” says Greene.

Key themes running through the discussion were trauma, anger and healing with participants agreeing on key issues that underpin GBV today and which victims have to deal with: victim blaming and shaming ; a patriarchal society where make dominance has been entrenched for generations; a culture of violence which often starts in the home and extends to public spaces and the workplace in different shapes and forms; and a judicial system unequipped to deal with GBV, a contributor of mob justice to address the glaring gaps which are not being filled by the judicial system.

Social media plays a controversial role in both highlighting and fuelling GBV.  “Social media is a great tool which has allowed women, from all walks of life, to be heard and for them to have a voice, yet we also need to be wary of how social media enables GBV and human trafficking,” Grootboom commented.

Her comment was echoed by Ziqubu who said that while GBV seems to be on the rise, it may be a case of social media giving it prominence. “Social media is a double-edged sword. It has played a strong role in bringing GBV to the front and centre and social issues today, yet at the same time, the deluge of content on this matter has desensitised many of us to the reality and gravity of the situation. It’s all too easy to scroll past content that makes us uncomfortable or that we don’t want to engage with.”

While it was agreed that there is no quick solution to this sad state, the panel members concluded on the absolute necessity of engaging with loved ones and having essential discussions on causes of and concerns relating to GBV and how to mitigate the affliction going forward.

On the basis that entertainment is multifaceted, Prime Video is proud to be streaming local content aligned to key societal issues in South Africa today.  The global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”, so it was fitting that it provided a platform to engage on contentious topics and to showcase South Africa’s filmmaking talent and its ability to effectively address this critical issue.

The Fury is currently streaming on Prime Video and the trailer is available here. The panel discussion will be available on Prime Video Africa’s: YouTube from 25 November 2022.

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