Indicting mining companies, government and community leaders

When the Marikana massacre occurred in 2012, South African journalist and filmmaker, Joseph Oesi, was in London. In a matter of days, Oesi told City Press, he was back in South Africa working on Black Lives Matter, a documentary that probes how the country’s enormous mineral wealth has enriched the elites and more or less impoverished mining communities.

The documentary looks at how community chiefs with the government sign off land and mineral resources to mining companies without consulting the people; sealing their fate in questionable deals that are not beneficial to their communities. In Black Lives Matter, the rural communities of Mogales, Kekanas, and Mapelas, which have the world’s richest deposits of platinum, are in focus; the anger seething in these communities due to feelings of marginalisation is recorded.

“Black Lives Matter explores how the mineral wealth, rightfully belonging to the people of South Africa, has been sold to capitalist interests for the enrichment of a few elite and at the expense of the country – and how traditional communities have been divided in this process,” a statement on the documentary website noted.

Read: SA’s Miners Shot Down documentary wins at Emmys

Still from 'Black Lives Matter'. Photo:
Still from the documentary, Black Lives Matter. Photo:

Joseph Oesi, Director of Black Lives Matter

The director of Black Lives Matter, Joseph Oesi, was born in Marianhill, KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. He was educated in South Africa, France, and Australia. He holds a BA in journalism and French literature from the Australian Film & TV School, Sydney. A renowned journalist, Oesi has also made a name for himself as a filmmaker. His documentaries have been aired on SABC, CNN and BBC.

His latest work, Black Lives Matter premiered at the Durban International Film Festival, South Africa, on 19 June 2016. Watch the trailer of the documentary below.

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