‘The Deal’ film tackles dementia and celebrates a Dublin festival run


It features the likes of Jerry Mofokeng, Abigail Kubeka, Aubrey Poo, and Matli Mohapeloa.

Aubrey Poo and Botlhale Boikanyo in the movie “The Deal”. Picture: Provided.

JOHANNESBURG — After a successful run at the Global Creative Brain Week festival, _The Deal_ is finally ready for South Africans.

Local artist and choreographer Paul Modjadji brings you a film that was first conceived during a brief film studies at the New York Film Academy.

“It was a reflection on the high price of access to education in some parts of the world, including South Africa. The inspiration behind this was a reflection on how this is further compounded when you introduce intersecting inequalities of inequality, power, privilege and access and how the tension created therein has the potential, as it is often the case, to exert violence on those who have less,” he told Eyewitness News on Sunday.

It premiered at the Dublin Festival, which took place March 12-16, and focuses on a character with dementia and features a snapshot of his life and that of his family and carers.

It features the likes of Jerry Mofokeng, Abigail Kubeka, Aubrey Poo, and Matli Mohapeloa.

He said, “The casting process was definitely inspired by the voices of the characters. I found myself casting as I developed these characters. I definitely wrote it with an actor in mind. I found it helped me see clearly the nuances and character iterations I could write into the character. The first person I cast was Botlhale Boikanyo as Thandeka. Having worked with her several times on other projects, I understood that she had the sensitivity and range of emotions required by the young character. From there, all the other actors fell into their roles like gravity.

Within the local talent, it was essential for Modjadji to understand who would best portray his characters and bring the story to life.

“My process was different in that I sent the actors the full script and asked for a meeting to discuss the story and how they saw the characters assigned to them. Through this process, the nuts and the bolts of the cast were firmly locked in, long before we were even on set. next generation of revered comedians such as Aubrey Poo, Matli Mohapeloa and theater pioneer Napo Masheane among the list is testament to how history chooses its owners.

But dementia is a rarely discussed topic in the South African entertainment industry that Modjadji felt he could venture into and raise awareness at the same time.

“Rather than offering answers, I found the film to invite us to reflect on some really powerful questions, which I wanted to engage with others on.”

Setting up work is easy, but finding the right appropriate platform to display it where it will be well received and recognized is often a challenge. It’s something that local artists are still working on.

Creative Brain Week is a celebration of how the brain and creativity come together to create new ideas in society.

“It was such a great honor and an equally nerve-wracking experience. To showcase a film among scientists, scholars, artists, media and other scholars around the world, whose careers are dedicated to working around neuroscience, brain health, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease research, outreach and clinical work has been a great privilege.

He said that through this film he was able to share with the world the real human elements behind some of the often read statistics in regards to South Africa.

“It was an opportunity to go beyond academic literature and statistics, and leverage lived experience as a way to engage with the effects of inequalities on brain health and aging in good health. Coming from South Africa, I am aware of how far we still have to go to ensure that dementia awareness and care for people with dementia is prioritized in order to provide sufficient care and support for them and their caregivers. Many people still view dementia as a sign of healthy aging or witchcraft, not the preventable and treatable disease that it is.

But what exactly does it mean to be part of such an international festival?

“In presenting the film at Global Creative Brain Week, I felt the heavy burden of responsibility that comes with writing one of the first characters diagnosed with dementia in the South African film library. was very well received.

Now that the festival is over and the film is aimed at local audiences, he hopes more men will be able to watch The agreement.

“I would like to hopefully open up the dialogue around some of the issues raised in the film. Similarly, I hope we can all come out of this with some form of deeper reflection on the real impact of inequity. and inequality. Tomorrow we commemorate Human Rights Day, I hope we can use this time to reflect deeply on how far we still have to go to ensure that the rights of everyone, as enshrined in our Constitution, are fully realized.

Kubeka told the media that the film is important because it focuses on a subject that local audiences need to know, understand and figure out how to deal with in the most beneficial way for society as a whole.

According to the disease guideline, dementia “may affect thinking, communication, memory and, in some cases, behavior, and/or the ability to perform daily tasks and over time will have a impact on the family, social and professional life of the person”.

It is crucial to note that dementia describes a set of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not a specific disease.

The film will be screened for an exclusive audience tonight at the Human Rights Festival on Constitution Hill tonight.


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