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Hillbrow Kids

Hillbrow Kids

"There once lived a family. The mother and father were ordinary people like you and me but, for some reason, the children were different. The were made out of wax." So begins an African legend that occurs to a story teller as she wanders through the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa, and wit-nesses the trials and tribulations of the street children of this growing metropolis. Vusi works for his bicycle and for his mother. Jane, a child, is looking for her own child. Silas is desperately seeking help. An abscess in his jaw almost blinds him with pain. Bheki numbs his senses with strong doses of glue. And Shadrack? Shadrack believes in himself and his good fortune. He is convinced he is different. He's going to make it. He's got plans.

They all have one thing in common: the legacies of Apartheid have driven them from the townships to seek their fortune in the city of gold, Johannesburg. But the future that awaits them there is not the one they bargained for. Trapped in the big city, they see their hopes dwindling. Rootless and confused, they stare helplessly at the clouds gathering on the horizon while the storyteller shouts the ancient myths to the skyline of Johannesburg.

Michael Hammon was born in South Africa in 1955 and graduated with a degree in Painting and Photography from the University of Cape Town in 1978. He worked as a news cameraman before attending the German Film & Television Academy (dffb) in Berlin from 1985-1991. He has worked as a DoP for numerous film and TV productions for directors such as Andreas Dresen, Yesim Ustaoglu, Claudia Garde, Pepe Danquart and Werner Schweizer, and began directing his own films in 1986. His films include: WHEELS AND DEALS (1991), HILLBROW KIDS (co-directed with Jacqueline Görgen), and GOLD – YOU CAN DO MORE THAN YOU THINK (2013).

Jacqueline Görgen was born in 1964 in Erfurt and studied Languages and Visual Communication in Berlin. She made the documentary DER STREIT ODER KINDER IM AYSL in 1996 and collaborated with Michael Hammon on HILLBROW KIDS in 1999.
Category Documentary
Year of Production 1999
Directors Michael Hammon, Jacqueline Görgen
Screenplay Michael Hammon, Jacqueline Görgen
Cinematography Michael Hammon
Michael Hammon, Yvonne Loques
Harald Bernhard, Matthias Kratzenstein
Producer Mirjam Quinte
Production Company Quinte Film/Freiburg, in co-production with ZDF, ARTE, Goethe-Institut/Munich
Length 94 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Versions English, German
Festivals Locarno 1999, IDFA Amsterdam 1999 (in competition), Milan 2000 (Cinema Africano), Troia 2000, London 2000
Awards Jury Prize Milan 2000, Blue Coast Award Troia 2000
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg, Open Society Institute, New York

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