The Representation of Gays and Lesbians in South African Cinema 1985–2013

  • Martin P. Botha


THE REPRESENTATION OF GAYS AND LESBIANS IN SOUTH AFRICAN CINEMA 1895-2013 Despite South Africa's progressive constitution which prohibits discrimination against gays and lesbians, as well as a strong gay movement, South African cinematic images of gay men and women are limited and still at the margin of the South African film industry. One ends up with less than 20 short films, a few documentaries and less than 10 features with openly gay and lesbian characters in the past 114 years of South African cinema. Under apartheid, gay and lesbian voices in film and television were silenced. In a 20-year study of the representation of gays and lesbians in African, Asian and Latin American cinema (Botha 2003; 2012; Botha & Swinnen 2010), the author has noted that homosexual experience is unique in South Africa, precisely because of South Africa's history of racial division and subsequent resistance. South African gay identities...