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    #OnTheBigScreen: Back of the Moon, It: Chapter Two and After the Wedding

    Films opening at South African cinemas, this week, include Back of the Moon; It: Chapter Two; and After the Wedding.

    Back of the Moon

    28 July 1958. Badman (Richard Lukunku), an intellectual and the leader of the most powerful gang in Sophiatown, lives life on his own terms in this crazy, cosmopolitan, half-demolished ghetto on the edge of Johannesburg. The gorgeous Eve Msomi (Moneoa Moshesh), a torch-singer on the brink of an international career, is giving her last concert in the local hall before she travels to London.

    Tomorrow, legions of police will force the residents of Gerty street out of their homes and they will be trucked to a desolate township, 10 miles out of the city. Refusing to face the bleak reality of black South African life, Badman has decided that he will fight to the death for his home.

    But fate thrusts Eve Msomi, whom he has loved from a distance, into his orbit. And on this night that bears this beautiful encounter, Badman’s gang, The Vipers, sensing his vulnerability, turns on them both.

    The film won the Best South African Feature Film prize at the Durban International Film Festival in July.

    Read more here.

    It: Chapter Two

    Evil resurfaces in Derry as director Andy Muschietti reunites the Losers Club in a return to where it all began in the conclusion to the highest-grossing horror film of all time.

    Exactly 27 years after the Losers’ Club defeated Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), he has returned to terrorise the town of Derry once more. Now adults, the Losers have long since gone their separate ways.

    However, people are disappearing again, so Mike, the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home. Damaged by the experiences of their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all – putting them directly in the path of the shape-shifting clown that has become deadlier than ever.

    Muschietti directed from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman (It, the Annabelle films) based on the novel It by Stephen King and is a follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed and massive global box office hit IT, which grossed more than $700m worldwide.

    Read more here.

    After the Wedding

    With the same quiet depth and intensity found in Ordinary People and Terms of EndearmentAfter the Wedding celebrates the complex, transformative power of the most primal of human connections as well as the ever-expanding definition of what makes a family.

    As if driven by an inescapable force, Isabel (Michelle Williams) has devoted her life to running an orphanage in a Calcutta slum. With funds running dry, a potential donor, who requires she travel from India to New York, to deliver a presentation in-person, contacts Isabel. At first, baulking at the demand of an uncommitted philanthropist, she relents and travels to a city she deliberately hasn’t returned to in over two decades.

    Once in New York, Isabel lands uncomfortably in the sites of the orphanage’s possible benefactor, Theresa Young (Julianne Moore), a multi-millionaire media mogul. From the glittering skyscraper where she runs her successful business to the glorious Oyster Bay estate – where she lives happily with her artist husband, Oscar Carlson (Billy Crudup), 21-year-old daughter, Grace (Abby Quinn), and eight-year-old twins, Theo and Otto – Theresa’s life couldn’t appear to be more perfect.

    But appearances are only skin deep, and Isabel and Theresa have more in common than meets the eye. While Isabel thinks she’ll soon be returning to her beloved orphanage, Theresa has other plans. She insists Isabel attend Grace’s wedding at the family’s estate. The joyful event becomes a catalyst for a revelation that upends the lives of both women and the people who love them most.

    Based on Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier’s Academy Award-nominated film, After the Wedding is written and directed by Bart Freundlich (Wolves, The Rebound).

    Read more here.

    Read more about the latest and upcoming local films: writingstudio.co.za/south-african-filmmaking

    About Daniel Dercksen

    Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit www.writingstudio.co.za

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