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State of Violence


The film tells a story of a man who has gained the world but lost his soul. A man who, like the biblical figure Saul, is struck by lightning and his journey changes. He was blind and deaf, and slowly, as he goes on the journey, he begins to see and hear.

Bobedi, our protagonist, has lived in denial and refuses to acknowledge his past. So far it has worked for him. Memory and the past frighten him. OJ is a symbol of that memory, because by attacking Bobedi and killing his wife, he is a symbol that represents his past.

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Bobedi does not only want to kill OJ because he killed Joy, but more importantly, because OJ forces him to engage and acknowledge his past. Bobedi wants to kill OJ so he can kill his past. What OJ does, that he is not aware of, is that by killing Joy, the sacrificial lamb, he is actually helping Bobedi to regain his soul.

The film is really about men: two generations of men who cannot articulate their emotions, who don‟t take responsibility for lives, and use violence as a way of resolving issues. But ultimately both learn about forgiveness.

Bobedi is a walking ghost. He is a man without a shadow. His shadow grows as he finds himself.

During Bobedi‟s pursuit for OJ, he realises that OJ is him when he was young – his angst and pain. He recognizes that by forgiving OJ, he is in fact forgiving himself or part of himself.
The men in these films are wounded and the women are the bandages. They hide their scars. When Joy is killed, Bobedi‟s scars open.

Writer Antjie Krog observing the women at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission commented that “Truth is a woman”.


Fana Mokoena
Presley Chweneyagae
Vusi Kunene
Neo Ntlatleng
Harriet Manamela



Khalo Matabane


Jeremy Nathan
Michelle Wheatley

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Line Producer

Moroba Nkawe

1st Assistant Director

Eva Franzen

Director of Photography

Matthys Mocke


Audrey Maurion

Sound Designer and Co-Sound Mixer

Jim Petrak

Sound Mixer

Xavier Thieulin