Twenty–three–year–old writer/director Sibs Shongwe–La Mer referenced a painful loss as a teen to make this personal, stylized debut. Shongwe–La Mer's film offers an authentic perspective of life in Jo'burg, or Johannesburg, South Africa, as he knew it. The film begins on a harrowing note: A wealthy white teen has hanged herself from a tree, using her school necktie. To make matters worse, her death has been live–streamed. From there, the filmmaker follows other teens peripherally connected to the girl, all of whom make up a contemporary génération perdue — young people who are wrecked and defeated, unsure of the present and the future. With polished black–and–white cinematography, the film rings true beyond its focus on post–apartheid South Africa, and speaks more generally to a millennial tragedy. — Wonsun Choi
Preceding short: TRACKS.
Sibs Shongwe-La Mer is an independent film director, screenwriter, visual artist, TED Talks alumnus and musician from Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2014, he wrote, directed, partially composed, edited and starred in debut feature NECKTIE YOUTH, which had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival.