Ban on South African Film for Alleged Child Pornography Overturned

Jahmil XT Qubeka (Director of "Of Good Report")

Jahmil XT Qubeka (Director of “Of Good Report”)

A ban on South African film titled ‘Of Good Report’ produced and directed by South African Film Director Jahmil XT Qubeka has been overturned. The movie ‘Of Good Report’ was banned by South Africa’s Film and Publication Board for allegedly showing ‘child pornography.Before the ban, ‘Of Good Report’ was supposed to be screened on the opening night at the just ended 34th edition of the Durban International Film Festival which took place from 18 – 28 July 2013. It wasn’t allowed to be screened because officials of the South African Film Board thought at that time that it shows ‘child pornography’.

The ban has now been overturned following an appeal from the movie Director Jahmil XT Qubeka. The Durban festival later acknowledged “the film’s achievements in stimulating by Larry Bate Takangworldwide debate and highlighting important issues in South African society” and awarded it a new annual award for artistic bravery.

According to the Director, the film is about a teacher who becomes obsessed with his student “to a point where he cannot see that he’s obsessed with a child.”

Although the ban has been overturned and the Director cleared, he is also proceeding with a defamation case against the Film and Publication Board of South Africa. While agreeing that child pornography should be banned, Jahmil says the movie ‘Of Good Report’ is rather “making an indictment… For teenagers this is a horror film. I want kids, particularly girls, to watch this and I want to scare them.”

Reflecting on the effects of the ban, Jahmil says, “I’m not sad for me. This has turned me into a superstar. My life has changed in a week. I’ve been in Variety magazine… three times. What I am sad for is my nation because my nation was refused the right to see the film.”

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Mr. Qubeka also adds that “We are the mirrors of our society… If we are living in an age where our government is putting down draconian policies that don’t allow self-reflection, instead we showcase a world that is actually not real, so how will we get to a place of seeing where we are?”

On Friday 2nd August 2013, Jahmil XT Qubeka will be one of the guests on Al Jazeera’s global talk show ‘South 2 North’ hosted by Redi Tlhabi to speak on the aftermath of the banning of his movie by South Africa’s Film and Publication Board at Durban International Film Festival.

He will take part alongside two other African Movie Directors whose films have also suffered censorship in their respective countries. These are Cameroon’s Jean-Pierre Bekolo, producer and director of the film “Le President” based on the current Head of State of Cameroon and Angola’s João Viana, Director of “The Battle of Tabata”.

The video of the full program will be published on African Celebrities Magazine next week. Please visit us for an opportunity to follow Redi Tlhabi’s very exciting discussion with three Directors who discuss funding in Africa; whether or not governments should provide money for films; and when films should be banned, if ever.