Archive for the ‘Films and Books’ Category

A ‘Review’ of the Film: “CATCH A FIRE” and Sharing a few Thoughts on Forgiveness

December 7, 2013

SAflagNEWArticle Title: A ‘Review’ of the Film: “CATCH A FIRE” and Sharing a few Thoughts on Forgiveness

(written by Shawn Slovo and her producer sister, Robyn)
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Submitted and shared by Craig Lock (in 2007)

Category/Tags (Key words): Films, South Africa, stories of South Africa. Catch a Fire, Gillian Slovo, Forgiveness, Reconciliation. Pursuit of peace

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock&sort=relevance&ie=UTF8&qid and

http://goo.gl/vTpjk and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

Craig’s various blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.

http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

and his various other blogs at

http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track

(obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines

All my articles may be freely published

Submitter’s Note:

Like the writers, producers and directors of ‘Catch the Fire’ , I too love to write and share stories that matter a lot to me, in terms of my deepest values (“the artistic temprament”??). True stories from people’s lives in history, that are worth sharing with others, as they have great meaning regarding the universal human condition. So I write about ordinary people in exceptional circumstances and times, that hopefully uplift and impact others through certain people’s great generosity of spirit inherent in the human condition to overcome great obstacles or adversity in their lives! My stories are about the indomitable and unquenchable strength of the human spirit… and ‘Catch a Fire’ is a story that I would have loved to have written … but now that it’s been done by Shawn and Robyn Slovo far more personally, bigger and better than I could ever have done. I found the story of the film so moving, compelling and inspiring, just “impulsively” wanted to share with you and encourage you to see this uplifting and inspiring movie.
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“Catch a Fire” is based on the story of Patrick Chamusso, the personal journey and transformation of an “ordinary” man: from a compliant oil refinery worker and family man, then after being arrested, tortured and deported to his birth country of Mozambique became a radicalised African National Congress guerrilla fighter code-named “Hotstuff” – a man fighting for the liberation of his people, and his country.

Eventually Patrick was arrested again and convicted as a terrorist; then served his long and harsh sentence on Robben Island in the chilly waters off Cape Town, until his release in 1991. Now Chamusso, aged 57, runs an orphanage with his wife, Connie, where they tend to Aids orphans in the dusty hills at White River near Kruger National Park. From their modest home the close couple care for 14 children. Already they have found foster homes for a further 90 under-privileged (and often malnourished) youngsters in the village, who visit their house daily for food, bible classes and the shiny bicycles donated by the film’s production company…all done with a great generosity of spirit.

But then, Patrick and his beloved wife, Conney have always tried to instil in others the importance of serving others through Christian love. They say that their current long battle against HIV is like our people’s long and hard struggle against apartheid.
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I think it’s vitally important to understand the mind of a person. Another important message in the story is how good people can often do bad things and the reader gets inside the soul of a man, who wanted to do good and yet preserve the status quo of the ruling regime – to protect the institutions and history of the country. The plots interweave, the two men living on different sides of the fence – both who love their families and their country equally; it’s just that they have a completely different view of their country and visions for its future. The story not only shines a light on South Africa’s past, but tells us something about the present and how one man’s freedom fighter can be another’s terrorist. (It just depends upon ones perspective). So, by only looking to history, we always find something, a ray of hope to illuminate the present and the future.

History tells us that Patrick Chamusso, was the ‘good guy’, who finds himself so backed into a corner, that he finds no other way of expressing and achieving his political aspirations, other than through using force. And that is the mind-set we ‘ordinary people’ and especially world leaders are truly going to have to understand in order to “win this current ‘war against terror’“. And we are certainly not going to do it through force and invasions, by eliminating the ‘perpetrators of the state-sanctioned violence’and his family.

It’s also most importantly, a story of redemption: of a man trying to regain his humanity…and one eventually does!

I don’t think Chamusso is a hero for taking up arms. I think he’s a hero for laying them down. Their story has a message of forgiveness and hope in the future – one that parallels the miracle of South Africa today. Now if only other countries could offer the kind of leadership South Africa produced at that precarious time in its blood-soaked history…and learn the lessons from the past, then the whole of Africa and even the entire world would be a far better and more peaceful place for all of us.

based on (and inspired by) a great interview with film director, Phillip Noyce and Russell Baillie, as published in the Weekend Herald, Auckland, New Zealand on 9th June 2007

* *

To end off, here are a few thoughts on forgiveness
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act – it is an
attitude of mind.”
– Martin Luther King

“The noblest revenge is to forgive.”
– Thomas Fuller, English author (1608-1661)

His (Mandela’s) ability to rise above his conditions, to stay positive and remain focussed. His dignity, humility and character. He is a model for everyone, especially his total lack of bitterness towards his former enemies. “There is no time to be bitter – there is work to be done.”

A tribute to the symbolic presence of dignity and strength. “Madiba’s’strength of will and character. (“He took Christianity to the market-place.”) Mandela embraced his enemies with love in a “Christ-like selflessness”, epitomising a “Divine Grace” in the human condition. He truly BELIEVED in his mission, never wavering in his convictions. One man’s commitment to a noble cause – what one man can do preaching reconciliation. “My mission is embracing the wounds of my country.” He gives pride to all black people. What men can do with a noble mission.
“If I don’t forgive my enemies, I deny my right to have power over them.”
– Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy??

“One man can make a difference.”
– Robert Kennedy

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968, American Leader and Nobel Prize Winner, 1964)

“Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.” So eulogised Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in April 1968.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
– John F Kennedy

About the submitter:
Craig is passionate about his former country, South Africa and writes about the “Beloved Country” in his novels. The story of ‘Catch a Fire’ has a lot of meaning to his life and shares important themes from his own writings. In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through “planting, then sowing ideas as ‘seeds of hope’”. He believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us. Craig’s new work ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. “A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.”

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock&sort=relevance&ie=UTF8&qid and

http://goo.gl/vTpjk and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

 
Craig’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://www.mandelamadiba.wordpress.com
http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track
(obsessive or WHAT!)

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope for a better and brighter future.”

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED

PPS

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask ‘why’? I dream of things that never were, and ask ‘why not’?”

~Robert F. Kennedy

“Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
— the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”
– craig

rainbow (from photobuck)

Great Stories :The Film Searching for Sugarman

October 28, 2012

Great stories :The Film  Searching for Sugarman

“’Searching for Sugar Man’ is the kind of story everyone would like to have made about their own life, a story about how your actions can affect people, people you have never even met, in a positive way, even if you never, ever know about it. And, even if, someday, you do. “

Picture: Lions Head, Cape Town, the beautiful Mother City of South Africa with Table Bay and Robben Island in the distance (where Nelson Mandela, “a true champion of justice, peace and reconciliation” made huge sacrifices being imprisoned all those long years in his pursuit of his cause, his ideals, his dream for a “unified Beloved Country”)

Searching for Sugar Man: An Artist’s Resurrection and Rebirth

October 28, 2012

September 18, 2012 By Schaeffer’s Ghost Leave a Comment

Review of Searching for Sugar Man, directed by Malik Bendjelloul

By CHRISTIAN HAMAKER

Picture: beautiful and deserted Wainui beach, Gisborne, East Coast , New Zealand…a place where I often get my dose(“fill”) of upliftment and inspiration

From http://www.patheos.com/blogs/schaeffersghost/2012/09/searching-for-sugar-man-an-artists-resurrection-and-rebirth/

 

This September, a singer from Detroit performed “a charming and awesomely odd show”—his first in the Washington, D.C., area in many years. It was a wonder he attracted a paying audience, given his relative obscurity and advancing years, and the fact that, even in his heyday, he never had much of a U.S. following.

But the performer, Sixto Rodriguez, has been recently rediscovered in America thanks to Searching for Sugar Man, a documentary that continues to pull in consistent grosses while playing in very limited release. After six weeks, the film was approaching $1 million in receipts, despite having never played in more than 33 theaters.

Why the interest in Rodriguez? Because his story is not just a tale of overdue recognition of artistic talent, but a triumph—of sorts—over death. Not physical death, but the death of an artist, the kind suffered when expectations aren’t met, when products don’t sell, and when changing tastes and business realities chew up and spit out musicians, bringing an (often premature) end to their careers.

Rumors of Rodriguez’s demise—accepted and assimilated into Rodriguez lore—didn’t help. Described in the film as “the most grotesque suicide in rock history,” Rodriguez was rumored to have killed himself on stage. But—and this is worthy of a SPOILERS warning—Rodriguez is alive. He resides in Detroit, in the same house he’s lived in for decades. He’s a home renovator content with his line of work, and he has given away much of what he’s made off of his musical success—particularly in South Africa, where he’s sold hundreds of thousands of records.

The film wants us to admire Rodriguez, to root for his restoration, but I was never sure what to think of the man. Is he talented? Sure. Is he worthy of admiration and recognition by his peers and fans? Definitely. But “Searching for Sugar Man” hints at something more profound, more spiritual, in the person of Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is said to lead a simple life free of material concerns. The producer of Rodriguez’s second album describes the musician and songwriter as being “like a wise man, a prophet … way beyond just a musical artist.” When he plays his music, it’s “something transparent, something universal,” says an admirer of Rodriguez, and he challenges us to “ask yourself: Have you done that?”

The film depicts Rodriguez as untainted by the pressures of the music business, above material concerns, and a Messiah figure of sorts. Have we done what he’s done? Will we follow his example?

Watching the film, I found myself thinking about the written testimony of Christ, the historical witness that serves as the primary basis for our faith in Jesus. When people question Christ, they sometimes ignore the clear revelation of him that we find in Scripture. Or, perhaps more often, they question the validity of that testimony. But two centuries of such questions, whether they come from ancient heretics or today’s Jesus Seminar, have failed to make much of a dent in the growth of Christianity. We have reliable historical manuscripts that attest to Jesus’ life and his claims about himself.

Sixto Rodriguez made a couple of records and then dropped out of sight. He had a few fans. Despite his popularity overseas, Rodriguez was living below the radar in the United States, with many fans assuming he was long dead. The film doesn’t indicate that this belief was deliberately sowed by Rodriguez, who seems oblivious to the controversy and content to leave that part of his life behind him.

However, his fans won’t let him be. He continues to find favor with a new generation of admirers. As an artist, that has to be gratifying. I wish him well, and am glad to see his talent recognized and praised. But Searching for Sugar Man left me thinking about much bigger things—much more important things—than the life and reputation of a songwriter. I’m not sure that’s exactly what the filmmakers had intended, but I’m glad that Rodriguez’s story stimulated such thoughts as I watched the film, and, even more so as I reflected on it.

From http://www.patheos.com/blogs/schaeffersghost/2012/09/searching-for-sugar-man-an-artists-resurrection-and-rebirth/

 

 

 

 

 

Like A Whirlwind: Rodriguez And The Search For Sugarman
ROB HUGHES , August 16th, 2012 03:48

Rob Hughes speaks to Sixto Rodriguez and the makers of the Searching For Sugarman documentary which charts his unique and uplifting story

From: http://www.folkworks.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=40560

 

At times it’s a story that almost beggars belief. Searching For Sugar Man, if you’ve not seen it already, is a documentary about Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, the 70-year-old singer-songwriter from Detroit who released two glorious, largely unheard albums some four decades ago, then promptly vanished without trace. Various grisly rumours about his unfortunate life – murder, suicide, jail time – began to circulate in the intervening years. Meanwhile his records had become huge in different corners of the world. Not least in South Africa, where his baroque-folk protest songs had become beacons of hope amongst anti-Apartheid campaigners.

A pair of Rodriguez fans-turned-amateur-sleuths began sifting through the evidence to uncover the truth of what had happened to this mystic hero of the counterculture. Finally, in 1997, they found it. Rodriguez was alive and well and still making a modest living in Detroit. Then the tale took on a whole new twist.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Searching For Sugar Man is fast becoming the feelgood hit of the summer… well, outside of the multiplexes anyway. “It was the best story I’d ever heard in my life,” explains the film’s director Malik Bendjelloul, who first heard about Rodriguez in 2006, after meeting Stephen Segerman, one of the aforementioned amateur Sherlocks, in Cape Town. “Rodriguez is one the greatest artists you’ve never heard of. But then there’s also this thriller built into the movie, in that you have these detectives trying to figure out what happened to him – deciphering lyrics and trying to find out the truth behind stories that he’d died. Then we have the third part of the story, where his situation suddenly gets better. Here’s a man who’d been living as a construction worker for 30 years, not knowing that on the other side of the world he’s a superstar. And when he comes to realise that, it’s like The Truman Show or something. It’s like a true fairytale, with a kind of Sleeping Beauty quality. You’re almost crying when you think about it. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.”

 

 

To grasp the scope of his story requires a jump in time. It’s April 1967 and Rodriguez, the 24-year-old son of Mexican immigrants, is playing small club gigs on the underground Detroit scene. Admired by local impresario Harry Balk, who signs him to his struggling Impact Records label, he’s introduced to Motown session guitarist Dennis Coffey and his production partner Mike Theodore, who oversee a debut single, ‘I’ll Slip Away’. It’s a spectacular flop and Impact soon folds completely.

Sometime later, Theodore and Coffey come across Rodriguez again. Much taken with his new compositions – and despite his somewhat bizarre habit of playing with his back turned to the audience – they introduce him to Clarence Avant, for whose Hollywood-based Sussex Records they’ve just signed on as A&R men and staff producers.

Recorded in late 1969 and issued in March 1970, Cold Fact – with Coffey on guitar, Theodore on keyboards and a crack rhythm section in Funk Brothers Bob Babbitt and Andrew Smith – became Rodriguez’ first album. It was a record full of oblique street poetry, insidious hooks and trenchant lyrics about inner-city blight and everyday struggle, made all the more affecting by bubbling grooves and Rodriguez’ almost casually fly-blown voice. A place where the tart polemics of Dylan met the languid otherness of Arthur Lee’s Love.

Alongside his signature tune, ‘Sugar Man’, there were songs like ‘Crucify Your Mind’ and ‘The Establishment Blues’. “It was a time of Kent State, the Zapruder film, Mai Lai and political assassinations,” explains Rodriguez today. “And in South Africa there was Apartheid. That was the backdrop for all the stuff that was going on. At that time, all of us were wondering what was coming down. I didn’t hang out with John Sinclair or the MC5 in Detroit, but I did get to know them later. John Sinclair was the guy who, for two joints, got two years. He’s one of the icons, one of the victims, of that era. If you grew up in Michigan and got busted for weed, you’d do time. I’ll tell you right now that it’s the same today. That stuff isn’t over. So that’s how I started writing songs. ‘Sugar Man’ is descriptive: ‘Future hugs, stay off drugs.’ I’m for the decriminalisation of weed, but I’m not trying to get anybody high. ‘Sugar Man’ is more like a plea.”

But Cold Fact stiffed. Probably not helped by a promo trip to LA, where Rodriguez played to a bunch of key industry insiders at the Ash Grove, his back resolutely turned to the crowd. Though, as he’s keen to point out now, it was more through habit than any intentional snub or aloof outsider statement: “The clubs I played in had always been really small. And if you tune your amp the normal way, you’re going to get feedback. So it was more to do with the sound rather than being afraid of looking at people directly. But yes, I did that. It wasn’t an insult to the audience, I just wanted to get the sound right.”

But there were other factors that contributed to the album’s swift demise. “A lot of the radio stations wouldn’t touch me, because of the nature of the songs. I would never get played in the Bible Belt, for instance. But I wasn’t trying to be controversial, it was just the way people spoke. Did I have dreams of being a big star? Yeah, I had hopes to make it. We all do, but in music there are no guarantees. You do it out of a sense of love for what you do.”

 

For 1971’s follow-up, Rodriguez was flown over to London, where he recorded Coming From Reality at Lansdowne Studios with Pretty Things producer Steve Rowland and a group of session men that included guitarist Chris Spedding. Yet the album, despite wondrous pieces like ‘To Whom It May Concern’, ‘Cause’ and ‘Climb Up On My Music’, sold even less than Cold Fact. It was enough to make him give up. “The label went bankrupt so everyone pretty much scattered,” he recalls. Soon after, he dipped from view. “If people are not showing at the gigs, it’s difficult and all very real. It was case of hey man, I can’t get something happenin’. I think a lot of us get disappointed like that.”

He continues: “Nothing beats reality, so I decided to go back to work, though I never really left music. I took a BA in Philosophy, I became a social worker, I worked on a building site and got into politics. I always saw politics as a mechanism from where you can affect change. It took me ten years to get my four-year degree, then I ran for office. I actually ran for Mayor, for City Council, for State Representative in Michigan and I also ran for my life! You know what I mean? I didn’t have the political pull of the big guys, so you just do what you can do.”

But while Rodriguez was pursuing some kind of political career in Detroit, his albums had found their way to Australia and New Zealand via bootlegs and international licensing deals. Cold Fact first appeared in South Africa in 1971, where it became essential listening amongst the white male population of the army during the guerrilla border wars. When they returned home with their Rodriguez tapes, his music was swiftly adopted by white liberals in the ongoing fight against Apartheid. “They all dug it,” he reasons. “I think all that politics was questionable and my songs, being as they were, were reflecting what was happening. Y’know, why are people doing this stuff? It was chaotic. I mean, they killed a guy who opposed Apartheid in parliament over there. That was pretty shocking and that background was what we were playing against. There were soldiers who were musicians too and that’s what they were addressing. So they were there for me, all swapping cassettes of my music. That’s how I got spread around.”

In Australia, meanwhile, Cold Fact stayed on the album chart for over a year, eventually going five times platinum. It was enough to warrant a couple of tours there in 1979 and 1981, but after that Rodriguez seemed to go to ground completely. It was a disappearance that only served to magnify his mystique and deepen his legend. That’s when the stories began flying around.

“In South Africa it was as if The Beatles had been four faceless men without names,” says Bendjelloul. “Rodriguez was at least as famous there as The Rolling Stones and yet not even the record label knew where he was. When there’s no information, rumours start. One said that he was in jail, another that he had became blind, a third that he committed suicide on stage.” Others suggested he’d died of a heroin overdose or had set himself on fire during a live show. Or that, languishing in prison for murdering his wife, he had ended it all in his cell.

Years went by. Enter South African fan Stephen Segerman, who, having written the liner notes to the reissue of Coming From Reality, set about trying to find Rodriguez in 1996. Joining him on his quest were journalist Craig Bartholomew, then working on a story about their elusive charge, and another admirer, lawyer Brian Currin . What few leads they had only resulted in dead ends. Following the money was no good either. Despite his albums reaching multi-platinum status, they discovered that Rodriguez had not received a Rand in royalties.

Eventually, Bartholomew managed to track down Mike Theodore in Michigan. A tangled mess of phone calls, faxes and emails finally dislodged the truth. Rodriguez was still very much alive. By this time it was early 1998. “Stephen Segerman, Brian Currin and Craig Bartholomew were strangers, yet decided to find me,” marvels Rodriguez. “That was so crazy. They wanted to solve this mystery. They managed to get hold of my daughter in 1998. Segerman had a date in New York, then came over to Detroit to show me some CDs that had been selling. He was such a sweetheart. Then I started touring again. To suddenly be playing again was incredible.”

Rodriguez toured South Africa for the first time in March ’98, filling 5,000-capacity venues in all the major cities. It was only then that he began to understand his level of fame over there: “I thought I would be singing to Third World disgruntleds, but instead they were young, bright Afrikaners. And they seemed very sane! I couldn’t believe it when they started singing along to the words.” Adds Bendjelloul: “I think Rodriguez’ story fascinates people because it has so much to it. It’s about a man who lives a quite hard life and one day, when he’s well into his fifties, discovers that he’s a superstar in another country. When Rodriguez got to know about his South African fame he was working in manual labour, cleaning out houses to survive in the grim reality of downtown Detroit. But in the countries where people have heard about him, he’s not just a hip rock & roller, he’s a household name. I stopped random people in Cape Town streets and every second person knows exactly who Rodriguez is.”

A TV documentary of those shows – Dead Men Don’t Tour: Rodriguez In South Africa – arrived soon after. And while Rodriguez remained largely an unknown quantity in the UK and US, the slow build was now on. Influential rapper Nas sampled Sugar Man on 2001’s Stillmatic, then DJ/producer David Holmes featured the song on mix album Come Get It I Got It. In 2003, Holmes went one stage further, enlisting Rodriguez himself to re-record Sugar Man with a 30-piece orchestra for David Holmes Presents The Free Association.

But it wasn’t until discerning Seattle label Light In The Attic reissued Cold Fact in 2008, and Coming From Reality the following year, that Rodriguez’ legacy began to finally spread on a wider scale. It was enough for him to play the UK and Europe for the first time in the spring of 2009, where he was greeted like some long lost treasure.

It provided Bendjelloul, already in the midst of filming Searching For Sugar Man, with a readymade narrative arc. “It’s one of the strangest versions of the American Dream there ever was,” says the director, who admits to hearing Rodriguez’ music only after hearing his extraordinary tale. “There was a little trepidation, because I was so much in love with the story and didn’t want to lose the momentum by being disappointed when I heard the music. But then I heard the music and thought: ‘Jesus Christ!’ They talked about him in South Africa and Australia as being in the pantheon of rock gods, together with Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones. And your immediate reaction is that of course it couldn’t be on that level. But I think it really is. Nick Drake didn’t get any attention when he was alive, then he was rediscovered years later. Why? Because the music was that good. So it makes sense that Rodriguez’ records are now everywhere. It’s accessible music on a really high level. He seemed much more than just a talent, he was a seer. He had this mythology around him. And when I eventually met him he still kept that mythology. The strange thing was that his experience hadn’t made him bitter. He studied philosophy, so maybe that’s helped give him a different perspective on things. There are different definitions of success and what life should be and what to strive for. But it all added more to the enigma.”

Searching For Sugar Man was a huge hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won the world documentary audience award and a special jury prize. The reaction since, in Bendjelloul’s words, has been “absolutely crazy. We’ve had standing ovations at over 100 cinemas in America and in over 20 countries. And this is for a man who’d never played to more than 300 people in America in his life.”

And so to the man himself. How is Rodriguez dealing with this wholesale, and wholly unexpected, spike in fame and popularity? “It’s like a whirlwind,” he laughs, “I can hardly believe it. We’re going to be doing Letterman, the Newport Folk Festival and dates in New York and elsewhere. It all feels wonderful, it’s a lot to take in. So far I’ve seen the film 35 times! Had I given up on ever making it? I think I probably had. Put it this way, I was too disappointed to be disappointed. But now we’ve been four times to South Africa and four times to Australia and I’m finally breaking into the American market. I get a lot of seasoned hippies and a lot of young bucks too. People come up to me after shows and tell me stories about their dads listening to me. It’s all so rewarding. Everyone’s a young blood to me, because I’m 70! I really am a very fortunate man.”

Searching For Sugar Man, the original motion picture soundtrack is available now through Sony Legacy Recordings

From: http://www.folkworks.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=40560

 

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is a film about hope and inspiration, truth vs. illusion, and the resonating power of music.

For my great buddies and “mal-jan musicos”, Peter, Errol, Guy and Rod remembering the old days and thinking of you here in the other “bewilderness”

“ou toppie and totally unmusical ” kraik

“Somewhat of a Review” of the Film: ‘CATCH A FIRE’ and Sharing a few Personal Thoughts

October 12, 2012

“Somewhat of a Review” of the Film: ‘CATCH A FIRE’ and Sharing a few Personal Thoughts
(written by Shawn Slovo and her producer sister, Robyn)
Submitted and shared by Craig Lock
Category/Tags (Key words): Films, South Africa, stories of South Africa. Catch a Fire, Gillian Slovo, Forgiveness, Reconciliation. Pursuit of peace

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html
Craig’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.com http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines

All my articles may be freely published

Submitter’s Note:

Like the writers, producers and directors of ‘Catch the Fire’, I too love to write and share stories that matter a lot to me, in terms of my deepest values (“the artistic temprament”??). True stories from people’s lives in history, that are worth sharing with others, as they have great meaning regarding the universal human condition. So I write about ordinary people in exceptional circumstances and times, that hopefully uplift and impact others through certain people’s great generosity of spirit inherant in the human condition to overcome great obstacles or adversity in their lives! My stories are about the indominatable and unquenchable strength of the human spirit… and ‘Catch a Fire’ is a story that I would have loved to have written … but now that it’s been done by Shawn and Robyn Slovo far more personally, bigger and better than I could ever have done. I found the story of the film so moving, compelling and inspiring, just “impulsively” wanted to share with you and encourage you to see this uplifting and inspiring movie.
*
The Movie ‘CATCH A FIRE’

31 Oct 2006 – Source: United Methodist News Service

Hero of ‘Catch a Fire’ tells church about apartheid era.

“I have learned to remember the words of my friend, Nelson Mandela, when he said, ‘We can never be free, unless we learn to forgive.'” Those are the words of Patrick Chamusso, a former prisoner on South Africa’s Robben Island with Mandela.

“Nelson Mandela told us to offer forgiveness. He even forgave the person who held him prisoner all those years at Robben Island.”

The movie depicts Chamusso’s transformation from an oil refinery worker to a freedom fighter. He was a foreman at the centrally located Secunda oil refinery, which was a symbol of South Africa’s self-sufficiency at a time when the world was instituting economic sanctions and protesting the country’s apartheid system. It was also a symbol of the wealth and riches of South Africa, earned in part from the exploitation of cheap black labor.

In his spare time, Chamusso coached a local boys’ soccer team. He was by no means a political man and would not have dreamed of becoming a member of Nelson Mandela’s freedom party, the African National Congress. That changed when Chamusso was arrested upon suspicion of sabotage of Secunda in 1980. He was beaten, tortured and mentally abused. When his wife, Precious was beaten and arrested, Chamusso was stunned into action. He left his family and joined the African National Congress in Mozambique, where he met Joe Slovo, the head of the congress’ military wing and later a cabinet member in Mandela’s first post-apartheid government.

In 1981, Chamusso attacked the Secunda refinery in a mission designed by Slovo. After the bombing, he was captured and arrested, held for nine months without trial and brutally tortured.

“I became angry to my God,” Chamusso said, as he recalled his detention. “I said, ‘Where are you?’ I am going to face the judge, and I know I’m going to die.’ But I didn’t. I was supposed to have the death sentence for what I did, but the judge gave me 24 years… It was God.”

Chamusso was imprisoned on Robben Island along with Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. Chamusso said the only way he was able to survive prison was by praying. He served 10 years, received amnesty and was released in 1991.

‘We must forgive!’

“At first, I thought it wasn’t a good story, because I didn’t value myself as a human being,” Chamusso said. “The reason was the structure of apartheid in South Africa. It was directed at a black man. I couldn’t open a bank account in South Africa; because I must take a white man with me. I couldn’t buy a car without a white man. If there was a road block, they would pull me out of the car, search me and beat me in front of my children. But we said, ‘We forgive you people.’ Through forgiveness, you let go of the anger and put it down. You forget it!”

Chamusso said he gets upset when people compare what he did in South Africa to current acts of terrorism.
“I think anyone who compares this to terrorism doesn’t understand,” he said. “There is no comparison. We were trying to remove apartheid. Our policy was, ‘No one must die.’ We wanted to destroy apartheid, not kill people.”

“We must tell the truth, but we must also forgive,” he said.
Today Chamusso, his wife, Conney and their three children live in White River, a valley region north of Johannesburg. They have at least 80 orphans whom they have adopted and care for through their ministry called ‘Two Sisters’.

“I wake up every morning and say, ‘Lord, thank you. For my life’, thank you Lord for me still being alive’.”
‘Catch a Fire’ screenwriter Shawn Slovo, daughter of the late Joe Slovo: “I thought it was a good time to tell the story, because of the miracle of South Africa,” she said, explaining why she wrote the film.

The movie “about reconciliation is timely, because it has been a period of time that it seems like all hell has broken loose in the world.” “If you just browse the paper, you can see that violence has escalated around the globe. It all comes down to broken relationships. So as we make peace with God, it is possible for each one of us to make peace.”

31 Oct 2006 – Source: United Methodist News Service

* *
“I have learned to remember the words of my friend, Nelson Mandela, when he said, ‘We can never be free unless we learn to forgive.'” Those are the words of Patrick Chamusso, a former prisoner on South Africa’s Robben Island with Mandela.

He spoke and worshipped at Munger Place United Methodist Church, while visiting Dallas as part of a promotional tour for the movie “Catch a Fire,” which debuts in US cinemas this week. The movie tells the story of his life and his struggle as a freedom fighter in apartheid-era South Africa.

“Nelson Mandela told us to offer forgiveness,” said Chamusso, a member of White River Methodist Church north of Johannesburg, South Africa. “He even forgave the person who held him prisoner all those years at Robben Island.”

The Rev. Charles L Stovall, pastor of Munger Place Church, invited Chamusso and the movie’s cast and crew to the church, after learning they would be promoting the film in Dallas. Stovall represented the United Methodist Church on the Ecumenical Monitoring Team for South African’s first multi-racial election, an election that made Nelson Mandela South Africa’s first black president.
*
Stunned into action!

In the film, Chamusso is portrayed by Derek Luke, who starred in ‘Antwone Fisher’, ‘Friday Night Lights’ and ‘Glory Road’.
The movie depicts Chamusso’s transformation from an oil refinery worker to a freedom fighter. He was a foreman at the centrally located Secunda oil refinery, which was a symbol of South Africa’s self-sufficiency at a time when the world was instituting economic sanctions and protesting the country’s apartheid system. It was also a symbol of the wealth and riches of South Africa, earned in part from the exploitation of cheap black labor.

In his spare time, Chamusso coached a local boys’ soccer team. He was by no means a political man and would not have dreamed of becoming a member of Nelson Mandela’s freedom party, the African National Congress.

That changed when Chamusso was arrested upon suspicion of sabotage of Secunda in 1980. He was beaten, tortured and mentally abused. When his wife, Precious – played by South African television actress Bonnie Henna – was beaten and arrested, Chamusso was stunned into action. He left his family and joined the African National Congress in Mozambique, where he met Joe Slovo, the head of the congress’s military wing and later a cabinet member in Mandela’s first post-apartheid government.

In 1981, Chamusso attacked the Secunda refinery in a mission designed by Slovo. After the bombing, he was captured and arrested, held for nine months without trial and brutally tortured.

“I became angry to my God,” Chamusso said, as he recalled his detention. “I said, ‘Where are you?’ I am going to face the judge, and I know I’m going to die.’ But I didn’t. I was supposed to have the death sentence for what I did, but the judge gave me 24 years… It was God.”

Chamusso was imprisoned on Robben Island, where fellow Methodist layman, Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. Chamusso said the only way he was able to survive prison was by praying. He served 10 years, received amnesty and was released in 1991, one year after Mandela was released and three years before the country’s first Democratic Election.

‘We must forgive!’

During an October 15 fellowship luncheon at Munger Place, Chamusso told the congregation he was glad the film was done while he was still alive.

“At first, I thought it wasn’t a good story, because I didn’t value myself as a human being,” Chamusso said. “The reason was the structure of apartheid in South Africa. It was directed at a black man. I couldn’t open a bank account in South Africa, because I must take a white man with me. I couldn’t buy a car without a white man. If there was a road block, they would pull me out of the car, search me and beat me in front of my children. But we said, ‘We forgive you people’. Through forgiveness, you let go of the anger and put it down. You forget it!”

Chamusso said he gets upset when people compare what he did in South Africa to current acts of terrorism.

“I think anyone who compares this to terrorism doesn’t understand,” he said. “There is no comparison. We were trying to remove apartheid. Our policy was, ‘No one must die’. We wanted to destroy apartheid, not kill.”

“The people in South Africa are going to be surprised when they see this movie. I was at the men’s breakfast at the Methodist Church; there were whites there, who wanted to know what was happening during apartheid. When people tell them about the people who have disappeared and were tortured, some say, ‘Oh, this is exaggerated.’ But that’s why we want to tell them, because they don’t know the truth.

We must tell the truth, but we must also forgive,” he said.

“And you shall know the truth…
and the truth shall set you free.”
*
Today Chamusso, his wife, Conney and their three children live in White River, a valley region north of Johannesburg. They have at least 80 orphans, whom they have adopted and care for through their ministry called ‘Two Sisters’.

“I wake up every morning and say, ‘Lord, thank you. For my life. Thank you, Lord for me still being alive.'”
*
Also attending the Munger Place United Methodist Church service was ‘Catch a Fire’ screenwriter Shawn Slovo, daughter of the late Joe Slovo. “I thought it was a good time to tell the story, because of the miracle of South Africa,” she said, explaining why she wrote the film.

The movie “about reconciliation is timely; because it has been a period of time that it seems like all hell has broken loose in the world,” Stovall said. “If you just browse the paper, you can see that violence has escalated around the globe. It all comes down to broken relationships. So as we make peace with God, it is possible for us to have peace.”

31 Oct 2006

“While we will not forget the brutality of apartheid, we will not want Robben Island to be a monument of our hardship and suffering. We would want it to be a triumph of the human spirit against the forces of evil. A triumph of wisdom and largeness of spirit against small minds and pettiness;
a triumph of courage and determination over human frailty and weakness; a triumph of the New South Africa over the old.”

– Ahmed Kathrada (who was imprisoned for 26 years. Prisoner No: 468/64)

To end off, here are a few thoughts on forgiveness…
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act – it is an attitude of mind.”
– Martin Luther King

“The noblest revenge is to forgive.”
– Thomas Fuller, English author (1608-1661)

His (Mandela’s) ability to rise above his conditions, to stay positive and remain focussed. His dignity, humility and character. He is a model for everyone, especially his total lack of bitterness towards his former enemies. “There is no time to be bitter – there is work to be done.”

A tribute to the symbolic presence of dignity and strength. “Madiba’s’strength of will and character. (“He took Christianity to the market-place.”) Mandela embraced his enemies with love in a “Christ-like selflessness”, epitomising a “Divine Grace” in the human condition. He truly BELIEVED in his mission, never wavering in his convictions. One man’s commitment to a noble cause – what one man can do preaching reconciliation. “My mission is embracing the wounds of my country.” He gives pride to all black people. What men can do with a noble mission.
“If I don’t forgive my enemies, I deny my right to have power over them.”
– Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy??

“One man can make a difference.”
– Robert Kennedy

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968, American Black Leader, Nobel Prize Winner, 1964)

“Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.” So eulogised Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in April 1968.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
– John F Kennedy

“Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
– Teilhard De Chardin

About the submitter:
Craig is passionate about his former country, South Africa and writes about the “Beloved Country” in his novels. The story of ‘Catch a Fire’ has a lot of meaning to his life and shares important themes from his own writings. In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through “planting, then sowing ideas as ‘seeds of hope’”. He believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us. Craig’s new work ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. “A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.”
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope for a better and brighter future.”

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED

PPS

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask ‘why’? I dream of things that never were, and ask ‘why not’?”

~Robert F. Kennedy

“Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
— the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“Lord,

Help lift our eyes a little higher”

.

.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN DREAM : THE RECONCILIATOR , THE “BRIDGE-BUILDER”

July 2, 2011

THE SOUTH AFRICAN DREAM :

LONG WALK TO FREEDOM AND PEACE:  THE “BRIDGE-BUILDER, THE RECONCILIATOR ,”

Tags (key words): South Africa, dream, dreams, my young dream, ‘Long Walk to Freedom and Peace’, Craig Lock, hope,  New books, soccer,

Web sites:  https://sawriter.wordpress.com and http://longwalktopeace.wordpress.com/

 

Here is a short extract from ‘Long Walk to Freedom and Peace’ that craig is currently writing (or perhaps “it’s writing itself”)…

I don’t know how the story will end…

But I do know how it all began…

For Lynda and Sharon in “Joey’s”,  and Steve, Glenda, Paula , Dylan and Graham in the beautiful mother city of Cape Town. Also to dearest mom and dad. Thanks for all the support, encouragement and most of all, love.

#

PROLOGUE

THE DREAM

It was a cold dreary mid-winter evening in 1975, a year before the Soweto riots that started a great upheaval in the “beloved” country.

 

The young man was very excited as he caught the bus to the soccer ground in Observatory to see a historic football match between the Greek-based side Hellenic (from the other side of the beautiful mother city) and the black team from Soweto outside Johannesburg (Egoli, the city of gold). Watching his team Cape Town City play at Hartleyvale was his usual Friday night entertainment during the long rainy winter at the Southern tip of the vast “dark” continent.

 

Even though it was a friendly soccer match , this was to be the first time a black team had played against a white team in the racially divided and rigidly repressed country. The game went off without incident; in spite of prior apprehension by many and was played in a great spirit. The young man marvelled at the exceptional ball skills displayed by the black players, their creativity, flair and finesse; but he also greatly valued the discipline in defence, self control and the stategic and tactical ‘nous’ of the white players in the opposing teams. It was a great contrast in styles, yet both added greatly to the spectacle through different and yet diverse sets of skills. It was as if the whole was greater than the whole.

 

Though relaxed, that night the blonde-haired man had difficulty getting to sleep … as the thoughts kept swirling around in his head. It hadn’t mattered who had won the game (though he thinks it may have been a draw). And these thoughts began to germinate in the days following. He always expressed himself far better in writing than the spoken word, so the next day he “penned” a letter to his beautiful girlfriend with the jet-black hair, Lynda … in which he shared a vision of the future…of what his “beloved” country could perhaps one day become through encompassing the best of both white and black cultures.

Sport for unity… as a tool in advancement for equality and freedom.

 

And a celebration of diversity… two worlds in one country…and one at peace with itself…at long last!

 

That was the young man’s dream in the dark days of the year nineteen seventy five

 

And that night as he lay in bed,  “young whitey” recalled the words of former US senator, Robert Kennedy who had visited South Africa about eight years earlier:

“ Look at things not as they are, but what can they can perhaps one day become”

Then he fell into a deep sleep, peacefully, blissfully…

*

“Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
— the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

 

“In the midst of darkness, light exists”

from https://sawriter.wordpress.com and http://longwalktopeace.wordpress.com/

PPS

My vision is of a free democratic South Africa… at long last. Then the country will fulfil its great potential, internally and internationally, as well as in Africa

Never ever give up on your dreams. Sometimes they and fairy-tales DO come true!

August  1989

 

# THE AWAKENED SPIRIT (A NEW DAWN)

March 18, 2010

Tags: Books, New books, South Africa, spirit, manuscripts, Craig Lock

# A NEW DAWN:

Let the Journey Begin…

A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially LOVE for the world and inspired by what I simply term God, the Ultimate Source, the Creative Source of Life itself. That is my legacy to my beloved family…and the world.

# THE AWAKENED SPIRIT

Craig Lock’s new work is a story of ordinary men and women, whose strong sense of justice and decency led to their making their own unique contribution to the liberation of South Africa. The stories in my new work not only shine a light on South Africa’s turbulent and often dark past, but tell us something about the present state of the world “and how one man’s freedom fighter, like Nelson Mandela can be another’s terrorist…and to another a ‘hero liberator’ (It just depends upon ones perspective). Therefore, it is vitally important to understand the mind of a person. And that is the mindset we are truly going to have to understand to ‘win this current war against terror’. So, by only looking to history, we always find something, a ray of hope to illuminate the present and the future.” *

* I think those were the words (powerful) of Gillian Slovo (daughter of Joe Slovo) in describing her book from which the uplifting and inspiring film ‘Catch A Fire’ was based. And I have the same sentiments and  motives in my various writings.