Natural Selection is a student film produced in Gqeberha depicting real South African problems through a zombie apocalypse film.
Five different characters with different backgrounds, races, and socioeconomic statuses, are stuck in the same house, and their only connection to the outside world is the news.
As tensions rise, the zombies attack the house and these characters, despite their differences, have one goal: to get rid of the zombies or to “fix” the system.
It is a science-ficti0 on film, depicting the millennial take on South African society.
Writer and Director, Khanyisile Tshazibana says it portrays the younger generation’s views on how they think the country should be governed.
“I wonder if in South Africa we had the same voting system as in America, where a candidate has to prove himself even through just little things like debates with the opposition to say what I am going to do, where else can I improve our country. In our country, it is just political parties. It’s just campaigning and obviously, some things will appeal more to other people and other things will appeal to a certain demographic, you know, and that’s what inspired me. I was just like so much could be done, like you guys all have something about you that is really unique and could better society. It’s just that you guys are so blinded by being against each other that sometimes it feels like you’re not for the people, you are just about yourselves.”
Politics and classism
The zombies in this movie depict various political parties in South Africa, showing them as the reasons for the collapse in the economy, water shortages, rolling blackouts, and the multitude of other problems the country is faced with.
Ovayo Qwabi, who plays a zombie in the movie, says that young people can make a difference if they change their point of view.
“So, the zombies are the personification of the broken system, so in the film, you’ll see that the zombie tries to manipulate one of the zombies, to also be part of the broken system, but unfortunately, she doesn’t agree because there’s obviously another side, like a stronger side on the phone which is the people that are part of the system. So, I think that as young people it is very important to not only focus on the negatives, but also focus on the positives and it’s about two systems, the broken and a positive system.”
The story also looks into the issue of classism, within our society.
After 27 years of freedom, there are still massive economic divisions within black communities.
Mtwakazi Xuma plays the wife of the main character Nick and says that her character, Sethu, helps those who are less fortunate.
“Sethu doesn’t come from a wealthy family just like Nick. She was not able to get a proper education and to mingle with people like Nick. So, Sethu understands the struggle because she is from rural areas, she understands that not everyone is as privileged as Nick and other people. So, in the film, she plays the person who won other people to come and be with them in the house.”
This film, featuring an all-black cast, will be aired this Saturday at the Ster-Kinekor in Baywest Shopping Mall.