Best Documentary Award European Film Awards
Robert Award, Best Documentary Robert Festival
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 film’s 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 haven’t given up hope for a better future.
Jeppe Rønde has a BA degree in Film Science and Art History from The University of Copenhagen. He has directed the documentaries Dancing in The Midst of War (2000), Son (2001) Jerusalem My Love (2003), The Swenkas (2004), all co-produced or bought by Danmarks Radio/the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Apart from directing and often filming his documentaries himself, he has also benefited from his professional career as a musician, and as a consequence has been able to compose the music for some of his films.