Breaking Out of the Box


“A touching, funny documentary on the lives of black lesbians in South Africa through the apartheid era to the present. It covers six women, talking about their African identity (“if you say being gay is not African then you insult me, because you are saying I am not African”), falling in love during the apartheid struggle, contemporary lesbian culture, being successfully out, and more.” (Nigah QueerFest’11, India)

Title: Breaking Out of the Box
Directors:  Zethu Matebeni, Sibusiso Kheswa
Original Languages: English, IsiZulu
Running Time: 40 minutes
Country: South Africa
Year: 2011

Watch the trailer HERE. See the review of the film in the Mail & Guardian and what the Daily Sun had to say.


Next Screening

Festival of Desire, African Studies Gallery, UCT

Date: Friday 5 October 2012 @ 14.00


In the context of Women’s Month, the film, Breaking Out of the Box by Busi Kheswa and Zethu Matebeni (2011) will be screened on the 8 August 2012.  The inspiration for the title of this film is Buhle Msibi’s poem ‘’I Break the Boxes”. This wide-ranging, touching, often funny documentary highlights the lives of black lesbians in South Africa. By telling the tales of six high profile women, the sheer breadth of experience in the black lesbian community is revealed, the profiled women all having redefined their set parameters in one way or another. One of the filmmakers, Zethu Matebeni, and panelists, Desiree Lewis and Adam Haupt will respond to the film and deal with the themes of women, sexuality, resistance and being ‘African’.

Date:  Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Time: 12H15 for 12H30 to 14:00 

Venues: Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town


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