Into this wilderness a group of young Zulu women enters on a life-changing journey to experience true wild nature for the first time in their lives.
The young women, mostly from townships and semi-rural communities, aspire to elevate themselves beyond challenging life conditions. They have an interest in nature and a spark of leadership but they lack the opportunity to experience wild nature in their impoverished lives. Accompanied by veteran female wilderness guides, they camp under the stars in big game country, totally surrounded by wild animals such as elephants, rhinos and lions.
Exposed to the elements and carrying on their back all they need for the journey, they have to cope with emotional and physical challenges, and learn what it takes to survive in the wild. A wilderness journey is an intense experience where one can expect to undergo personal transformation. It can enhance personal growth and leadership development; and it is also a soulful experience that has the capacity to heal.
The latter especially occurs whilst one sits around the campfire, listening to the lively Zululand wilderness night, hearing the cough of the leopard, the cry of the hyena and the roar of the lion. Mentoring the women and initiating them into the wilderness is, KwaMashu born, Lihle Mbokazi, the first black South African woman wilderness guide.
Lihle is also deeply interested in reviving indigenous knowledge systems and share the wisdom of the old days with the young women. Along with Lihle we see Janet and Zondi, the lead wilderness guides, who share nature wisdom with the women. Despite the tranquil setting, the iMfolozi wilderness is now severely threatened.
About — Sisters of the Wilderness
An existing open-cast coal mine on the Eastern border of the wilderness is expanding regardless of its devastating impact on the surrounding rural communities and their livestock. Furthermore, as home to the largest population of rhinoceros in Africa, the park is increasingly a gruesome poaching scene. The park now has the largest population of Southern White Rhino in the world.
The success of this programme has recently been compromised by the increase in rhino poaching within the park. This critical threat has not only become a great concern for the park, but for rhino conservationists worldwide. Learn more about why this film is important and timely; and about the issues that the film highlights. Amanda, a caring and intelligent young women, was a shy and lonely kid.
Her father passed away before she was born, and she was raised by her grandmother and mother. As a lone child in her early teens, she went through a very difficult and painful period of suffering and grieving after her grandmother, to whom she was very close, died in front of her eyes. When her mother also fell sick Amanda was left to fend for herself.
She found relief from the pain walking in the green hills above her town. Whilst at high school she came out of her shell when she initiated an after-school programme to help young children in the township who had reading and writing difficulties. From that she grew up to become a volunteer at the Mpophomeni Conservation Kids Club where she organises for the kids educational activities and nature walks.
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She recently started marketing and business studies. She is passionate about nature and became a leader in the Environmental Club at school. Wendy faced very difficult time, losing her mother to whom she was much attached, and having an unexpected pregnancy at a young age. She has a four years old daughter and she lives with her grandmother in Mpophomeni.
Thembani is from Sweetwaters, a semi-rural area in Hilton, in the Natal Midlands. She started working as a domestic worker at an early age and recently, with the support of her boss, started an administrative course and hopes to be promoted in her workplace and become an office manager. She lives with her sister in a small dwelling in Sweetwaters. She is a faithful Shembe church-goer and her dream is to start a small bead-making business and school. Beadwork was a skill she learnt from her late mother. Andile is from Umlazi, Durban. She grew up with her mother and later a step-father. She comes from a poor homestead and she is bright and ambitious.
She experienced great difficulties in her life due to her mother falling ill. She had an unplanned pregnancy and she has a young daughter who is looked after by her mum. She is now studying and working at the Natal Midlands Community College and plans to go to university next year.
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Nokuphila grew up in Mpophomeni in a single-parent household, with her mother, sister and brother. Nokuphila had two unexpected pregnancies at a young age. One of her daughters passed away only few weeks after birth, the other child is being raised with support from an aunt. She is very independent and decided to leave home to see if she can make her own living. She was trained in a hotel in Durban and she is now looking to start her own small food business. Lihle is an experienced wilderness guide, originally from KwaMashu near Durban.
She was the first black woman to graduate from the Wilderness Leadership School in , but her journey was not without difficulties and she is still facing tremendous challenges on the path she chose. Growing up during Apartheid she witnessed violence and oppression. Nature found her as a young child visiting family in rural KwaZulu-Natal. It was on these journeys where her soul found peace away from the difficulties of everyday life.
Her training as a wilderness guide was a life-changing experience and instilled in her resilience and leadership skills. Her work is now focused on sharing her knowledge of the wilderness with those who can benefit from its healing powers most, young people from underprivileged background.
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Co-leading the trail with Lihle is Janet Frangs, a qualified nature guide of many years. Janet has a lifelong love affair with Nature and feels more comfortable under the stars in the wilderness than within four walls. She is guided by the ancient wisdom held in the rocks, the rivers and the trees and uses her intuition to deliver a deep experience for the people she takes on wilderness journeys. Animal encounters are gentle and respectful, mindful of the fact that we are no more or less but all part of the same circle of life. Janet is also a Body Talk practitioner, meditation teacher and Reiki Master, committed to reawakening the realisation of our oneness with all of life.
Zondi is a wilderness guide with the Wilderness Leadership School in Durban. Dr Player realised the potential in young Zondi and sent him on a wilderness training course, and Zondi has since became a lead guide at the wilderness school. He dedicates his life to giving people, young and old, an opportunity to experience wilderness and share with them deep nature wisdom drawn from his Zulu culture and from the teachings of Dr Player. Since my early years I was interested in two interconnected themes, the wellness of people and the environment.
These have become the focus of my professional and personal life. In I decided to make a career change and move from marketing and communications to film-making, with a vision to create engaging high quality films that inspire, connect and make a long-lasting impact. My film projects are motivated by my wish to make a positive social and environmental difference.
The idea to make Sisters of the Wilderness is the outcome of a long personal journey. On this journey I met extraordinary people, many of them women who undertake incredible challenges to protect wild nature and nurture a love and appreciation of the natural world; using immersive nature experiences to bring people closer to nature and to each other.
Wilderness and especially the African wilderness, is an unrecognised gift that very few know of and appreciate, let alone make use of. If we would only learn how to pause and listen to the wilderness we would regain vitality, love of life and all creation; and a uniting creative force to make things better and draw more light into our life and the lives of others.
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Nonetheless I was keen to continue with my vision and find a different story that will carry the same messages and themes. This is how the Sisters of the Wilderness idea was born. I hope that the spirit of Dr Player and Baba Magqubu; and the Sisters of the Wilderness film will empower growing numbers of individuals worldwide who aspire to make a positive impact to the lives of people and all living things on the planet.
Ronit headed global marketing and branding projects in both public and private organizations and had her own event and marketing consultancy, which focused on initiatives relating to the wellbeing of people and the environment. In Ronit founded One Nature Films with a vision to create high quality social impact films. This is a conversation starter, a film that creates discussions about class and how parents shape the lives of their children.
When it was released, audiences barely paid attention to it, and big fans of Cronenberg wrote it off as being minor in his career. Mississippi Grind Before they made a mint directing Captain Marvel and before Ryan Reynolds became Deadpool , directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck led Reynolds to one of the best performances of his career alongside the always great Ben Mendelsohn in this drama. The star of Bloodline plays Gerry, a gambling addict whose addiction is fueled by a younger man named Curtis, played by Reynolds.
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The two end up in debt and on the road to an infamous poker game in New Orleans. Like poker? Like Bloodline? Like Reynolds?
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Like movies at all? Watch this one. Mohawk Ted Geoghegan continues to carve out a career as an unpredictable genre filmmaker by taking a sharp turn from his excellent We Are Still Here to this period action-horror film set early in the 19th century, right after the end of the War of Kaniehtiio Horn stars as a Mohawk woman named Oak, who is caught between her people and the British soldiers who are killing them.
She has two lovers, a Mohawk warrior and a British soldier; the former ignites the drama when he sets fire to an American encampment. The surviving soldiers move to hunt down Oak and her people as Mohawk transforms into a chase movie, anchored by a physical performance from Horn and a captivating one from the villainous Ezra Buzzington. The comedian plays Curtis, a single father who moves to Germany with his son, Morris, played by the wonderful Markees Christmas. It also features one of the most genuine father-son relationships in years, culminating in an emotional scene between the two that will bring tears to your eyes.
The former star of Master of None and Saturday Night Live plays Emily Martin, a young woman who returns to her hometown after the death of her cat, which gives the film its title. Not only is Wells sweet and funny, she has a strong voice as a writer-director, imbuing with honesty and heart a film that could have felt like hundreds of other fest hits. She may become a major independent filmmaker. Watch this before she does. What unfolds is an episodic look at childhood through the kids who live there. Generally, we encourage viewers to watch foreign films subtitled, but the English dub here is very engaging and includes voice work by Nick Offerman, Amy Sedaris, and Will Forte.
Think of this as The Raid on Steroids. Imagine a kung-fu movie in which people have knives and axes and other sharp objects instead of just their fists of fury.
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