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On the Other Side of Life (Andere Seite des Lebens, Die - Zwei Brueder im Township)

On the Other Side of Life
Bognani & Lucky (photo © Pieter Hugo)

Lucky and Bongani pretend to be cool and in the know. To survive in a Cape Town township, they learned their lessons early: where to get drugs, where to get money, how to pick up girls and how to get rid of them. Their mother does not pay much attention to her sons, but at least their grandmother is on their side.
The two brothers share everything: the bed, the food and now even an accusation of murder.
The first thing they get in prison is an unmistakable lesson about the rules there. No question, newcomers are always at the bottom of the hierarchy. They must learn quickly who may be attacked and who must be served. A matter of survival in jail. Out on bail, something special awaits them – an initiation of a different kind.

The brothers move through three cultures, each of which calls for its own gestures and rituals. The deep rift between the generations becomes painfully obvious. The old people still have the sense of honor of African tradition; their successors have only a tiny chance of escaping the squalid suburbs. What will be their package in life?

Through a clever dramatic narrative structure, the film rises above a social environment study to become a far-ranging discourse about the future of an Africa ground to pieces between tradition and modernity.


Stefanie Brockhaus was born in Munich. After studying Film at the London University, she studied at the University of Television and Film in Munich. Her films include: JAM (short, 2003), THE CHILD WITHIN (short, 2009), ON THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE (doc, 2010, in co-direction with Andreas Wolff), SOME THINGS ARE HARD TO TALK ABOUT (doc, 2017), and THE POETESS (doc, 2017, in co-direction with Andreas Wolff).

Andreas Wolff became a professional windsurfer at the age of 17. He studied at the USC Graduate School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles and at the University of Television and Film in Munich. His films include: RESONANCE (2000), ONE WAY OR THE OTHER (short, 2006), SON LOST (short, 2006), ON THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE (doc, 2010, in co-direction with Stefanie Brockhaus), THE CAPTAIN AND HIS PIRATE (doc, 2013), and THE POETESS (doc, 2017, in co-direction with Stefanie Brockhaus).
Genre Society, Drama, Coming-of-Age Story
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2010
Directors Stefanie Brockhaus, Andreas Wolff
Screenplay Stefanie Brockhaus, Andreas Wolff
Cinematography Stefanie Brockhaus, Andreas Wolff
Stefanie Brockhaus, Andreas Wolff, Ulrike Tortora
Zola, DJ Cleo
Cast Lucky Nxele, Bongani Nxele, Elsie Nxele
Producer Andreas Wolff
Production Company Brockhaus/Wolff Films, in co-production with Bayerischer Rundfunk, Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (HFF/M)
Length 87 min
Format color
Original Version
 English/Xhosa
Subtitled Versions English, German
Festivals True/False Festival Columbia, Missouri 2010, South-by-Southwest-Festival Austin 2010, RIDM Montreal 2010

World Sales (please contact)
Brockhaus/Wolff Films
phone +49-1 77-7 22 44 85
andreasnikolauswolff@gmail.com
http://www.brockhauswolff.com