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Movie of the Week

Homecoming: A film by Beyoncé – Netflix Exclusive

Netflix has released Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, which presents an intense and intimate look at her historic 2018 Coachella performance that paid homage to America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). She was the first black woman to headline Coachella.

Click here to watch the trailer, and to read about the film.

Interspersed with candid footage and interviews detailing the preparation and powerful intent behind her vision, Homecoming gives a peek into the process and emotional and physical sacrifices it took to conceptualise and execute a performance that became a cultural movement. This stand-alone Netflix original is now available globally.

Homecoming recognises the African American visionaries who inspired Beyoncé, including HBCU alums Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, activist Marian Wright Edelman, and scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, in addition to cultural luminaries like Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Audre Lorde. Beyoncé’s personal knowledge of the relevance and celebration of HBCUs started with her father, Mathew Knowles, an alumnus of Fisk University.

Shot over eight months, the film follows the global entertainer as she returns to the stage after the birth of her twins. it highlights the comprehensive preparation involved in creating her groundbreaking performance, including four months of band rehearsals followed by four months of dance rehearsals. More than 150 musicians, dancers and other creatives were hand-picked by the artist herself.

In juggling dual roles as director of both her live performance and the film that captured the process of making it, Beyoncé said: “It was one of the hardest jobs I have taken on but I knew that I had to push myself and my team to go beyond great to legendary. We knew nothing like this was ever done on a festival level before and it needed to be iconic beyond compare. The performance was a homage to an important part of African American culture. It had to be true to those who know and entertaining and enlightening to those who needed to learn. In making the film and re-telling the story, the purpose remained the same.”

Many in the cast, from band and singers to dancers and steppers are former HBCU students, immersed in the HBCU marching band tradition.  They joined Beyoncé’s own group of performers, some of whom have toured with her for years. Viewers not only get to see the intense dance rehearsals and talent of these amazing artists, but hear their personal journey from HBCU student to artist and the lifelong impact that comes from performing alongside Beyoncé in this historic concert.

“So many people who are culturally aware and intellectually sound are graduates from historically black colleges and universities, including my father,” she says in the film. “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé was directed and produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Longtime collaborator Ed Burke served as co-director. Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams are executive producers.

Movie of the Week

The Silence – A Netflix Original Film

For fans of Bird Box, Netflix Original The Silence takes a different twist to horror-thrillers by introducing terrifying creatures who hunt their human prey by sound.

Click here to watch the trailer and to read more about the film.

When the world is under attack from terrifying creatures who hunt their human prey by sound, 16-year old Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka), who lost her hearing at 13, and her family seek refuge in a remote haven. But they discover a sinister cult that is eager to exploit Ally’s heightened senses. The Silence is directed by John R. Leonetti (Annabelle) and stars Stanley Tucci, Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, John Corbett, Kate Trotter and Kyle Breitkopf.

The film is available to stream now on Netflix.

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Movie of the Week

Everything Must Fall – Showmax

Everything Must Fall takes an unflinching look at the #FeesMustFall student movement that burst onto the South African political landscape in 2015 as a protest over the cost of education.

Click here to watch the trailer and to read more about the movie.

Everything Must Fall is directed by Rehad Desai, who won an International Emmy Award for Best Documentary for Miners Shot Down, about the Marikana massacre.

The story is told by four student leaders at Wits University and their Vice Chancellor, Adam Habib, a left-wing, former anti-apartheid student activist. When Habib’s efforts to contain the protest fail, he brings 1 000 police onto campus, with dire consequences for the young leaders.

#feesmustfall was a pivotal moment for South Africa. As we have just had our national elections, it’s the perfect time to revisit the questions the movement raised about our priorities as a nation. Vuyani Phambo and Fasiha Hassan, who both feature prominently in the film, are on the parliamentary election lists for The Economic Freedom Fighters and ANC respectively. In May, Everything Must Fall is one of six productions representing South Africa at INPUT in Bangkok, an annual showcase of the best storytelling in the public interest

The documentary is available to stream now on Showmax.

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