Filmed in late 2014, and now set for a September 2016 release in South Africa, is “Kalushi,” which tells the story of Solomon Mahlangu, in a film starring Thabo Rametsi.
Marking the 35th anniversary of the execution of Mahlangu (2 years ago, when the film went into production), and directed by Mandla Walter Dube from his own screenplay (co-written with Leon Otto), the film condenses Mahlangu’s already short life, born in 1956 and killed in 1979, after he was wrongfully accused of the murder of two white civilians in Johannesburg two years prior to his death.
A member of the ANC (African National Congress), Mahlangu was executed by hanging despite calls from local and international organizations for him to be pardoned – an execution that sparked international protest and condemnation of South Africa’s internal policies.
Before he was hanged, Mahlangu’s famous last words were: “My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them and that they must continue the fight.”
He was just 23 years old.
Along with Rametsi, Thabo Malema and Louw Venter also star in the film, with Soloman Mahlangu’s brother, Lucas Mahlangu, serving as adviser to the production.
Funded by the National Lottery Distribution Fund for Arts, Culture and Heritage, the Department of Trade & Industry’s Film Incentive Scheme, the Department of Arts and Culture, and the National Film & Video Foundation, the film is produced by Walter Ayres and director Dube, and was shot on location in and around Pretoria and Johannesburg for six weeks.
It is Mandla Dube’s feature directorial debut.
A trailer for the film follows: