The Swenkas (2005)



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Movie Info

In post-Apartheid South Africa there's a small group of working Zulu men who every Saturday night leave their grimy overalls behind and wear their best Carducci or Pierre Cardin suits to impress the weekly selected judge. The men are called the Swenkas, and they have run this fashion show for so many years that no one remembers exactly when or even why it all began. The youngest Swenka, Sabelo, is in the most turbulent time of his life. He has to bury his father just a week before Christmas and only a week before his own wedding. But Sabelo's father was also father of the Swenkas, and now Sabelo and his fellow Swenkas find themselves in a state of incertitude. The Swenkas are the films direct entry to the darkest downtown of contemporary Johannesburg, one of the most violent cities on earth. But the Swenkas are about to tell a totally different story from within that very place - a story of hope. Even though the Swenkas openly long for the days of Apartheid they havent given up hope for a better future. --© 7th Art Releasing


Critic Reviews for The Swenkas

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

Jeppe Ronde's unusual documentary is unabashedly superficial. But it's an approach that works better than you might imagine.

Nov 11, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4

The Swenkas are a charismatic group, and Ronde takes full advantage. You can't help but love them, especially when they go swanking. Beautiful cinematography and a sweet soundtrack with, among others, Roy Rogers and Tommy Dorsey, add to the charm.

Nov 9, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

The Danish filmmaker Jeppe Ronde's intriguing documentary presents a window into a strange and selfish obsession.

Nov 9, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5

Peculiar and sweet.

Nov 8, 2005

After a while, you begin to wonder if this is a subject truly deserving of full documentary treatment.

Mar 1, 2007 | Full Review…

By the end of the film, it's clear Sabelo comes to understand what the Swenkas are all about, but do we?

Feb 2, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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