‘Of Good Report’ achieved notoriety in South Africa where it was banned by the authorities. The film follows an introverted school teacher in rural South Africa who starts an obsessive sexual affair with a 16-year-old pupil with tragic consequences.
The film screened this week at the London International Film Festival, where director, Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, outlined his motives in making the movie.” When I set out to make the film, again the other narrative challenge that I wanted to give myself was that I pretended that I was working in the conventions of 1950s Hollywood, mean that OK even though there’s depictions of violence and sexual content in the film I wanted to do it in a stylized manner and also I made a lot of things suggestive and I left a lot of things in your head.’‘
The film is a beautifully timed thriller as a female police officer gets closer and closer to a grisly truth.
The director is not quite sure if the film’s infamy is a blessing or a curse: ‘‘It’s a double edged sword for me, on the one level this is a small film, it’s an independent film, so by definition you will always be struggling and jostling for attention for a film like that especially on a wider scale, in terms of the world of films – it has no stars, it’s in black and white, it’s a South African film, so really in terms of attention not many people would have heard of the film had the banning not happened. So the now I am ‘the banned film from South Africa’ that has given it some kind attention. However, I say it’s a double edged sword because on the other hand who wants to be associated with child pornography?’
As well as being part of the BFI London Film Festival, ‘Of Good Report’ is also due to open the African Film Festival in the British capital in November.