A Place in the City

A Place in the City

Sunday Tribune, Durban, South Africa
Jul 26, 2009
'Compulsory viewing for government and the broader society.'
- Sunday Tribune, Durban, South Africa, Sunday Tribune, Durban, South Africa

'A Place in the City is one of those rare films that is both very well produced and insightful by virtue of its clarity and dispassionate documentary style. It is no less powerful for that. Moreover, it lends itself to use in different contexts: lectures and seminars, leadership training, general awareness raising and policy advocacy. I have been looking for just such a resource to update my South African library for several years. This film deserves the widest possible exposure.'
- Professor David Simon, Development Geography, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London

'The film is truly excellent, and for those of us involved daily with evictions, resistances and processes, I can tell you that it is very inspiring and well-documented. It brings to light the extraordinary capacity of simple people treated unfairly by an unjust system to keep faith in their future and their capacities and, despite their hardships, to think of a better and more humane world, not only for their neighbours or their brothers and sisters, but way beyond this. They are dreaming, and they are building a more just world, for all of us, and for our children.

- Professor Yves Cabannes, Chair of Development Planning, University College London Chairperson, Advisory Group on Forced Evictions to the United Nations

'A Place in the City is an extremely important film which shows that while apartheid maybe over in South Africa, class and housing inequalities are still very evident. In some cases the current political regime's treatment of the so-called "slum dwellers" around Durban is worse than that experienced at the height of the apartheid era. The resilience of people who reside in these well-established but inadequately resourced communities is remarkable, and expertly captured in the film. All those in the film speak with clarity, dignity and commitment – they hold a strong sense of hope of achieving their goals and being able to maintain their "rightful" place in the city.

- Dr Tracey Skelton, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore

'Anyone interested in contemporary South Africa should watch this film
to learn more about the plight of South African civil society for
equal rights, and the inspiring work of the Abahlali movement.'
- Dr Lindiwe Dovey, lecturer in African Film at SOAS, University of London

'A Place in the City offers some fascinating insights into the struggle for rights in South Africa's informal settlements today. It captures Abahlali baseMjondolo's work in mobilising shackdwellers through activists' own words, and presents this through footage that sensitively explores the harsh realities of people's everyday lives. This is a thought-provoking film that will be of interest to anyone concerned with issues around urban development and grassroots social movements in contemporary Africa.'
- Dr Glyn Williams, Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield

'This is a story you won't find in the mainstream media in South Africa - a story of disappointed hopes and the failure of government to address the basic social rights of ordinary people. But it's also a story of 'ordinary' South Africans who have not given up - and their day–to–day struggles are what make real change actually happen. Government ignores the demands of Abahlali and others like them at its peril. This film really needs to be broadcast on mainstream television.'
- William Gumede, former deputy editor of The Sowetan, Johannesburg, and author of the bestselling 'Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC'