Long Street, new S.A. film about to be distributed
Long Street, the new film from South African director Revel Fox (The Flyer), releases in selected cinemas on the local circuit on 24 September. The feature film draws on the real-life experience of Fox's own daughter, who battled with drug addiction while trying to make it as a musician and stars Fox's daughter Sannie and wife Roberta.
Set in Cape Town, the film is a closely rendered portrait of the fragile relationship between recovering drug addict Sia (Sannie Fox) and her mother Maria (Roberta Fox). When Sia is thrown out of rehab, she has to return to her mother's home. The two women have long since stopped trusting each other and their relationship is a simmering sea of anger and disappointment. At the same time, Sia's father Wesley (David Butler) is suffering from writer's block and has a deep desire to reconcile with his daughter and estranged wife, but cannot find a way to express himself.
When a Zulu singer named Andiswa (Busi Mhlongo, in one of the last appearances before her death) enters their lives, her commanding presence and musical genius brings the mother and daughter together again. Andiswa uses the healing power of her voice to allow Sia and Maria to forge their relationship anew and discover things they didn't know about each other and themselves. The result is a poetic, powerful, music-driven film about contemporary middle class ennui in urban South Africa.
Fox took the courageous decision to cast his daughter Sannie Fox and his wife Roberta Fox, both of whom are well-known actresses and singers in their own right, to play Sia and Maria. "I wanted to make a film that is both entertaining and helpful to people," he said. "Taking my cue from the music, I wanted to pass on something I had learned, to connect with people who are going through similar experiences. Watching the three women - Busi, Roberta and Sannie - as the story unfolded was an unforgettable experience."
"Long Street is the spine of Cape Town," said Fox. "It's where people hang out, where musicians rehearse and perform. I enjoyed blurring the lines between the film and Cape Town itself. The city is the star, so we recorded its secret places, its changing history, its walls and of course the mountain."