Standing on Their Shoulders Film



Celebrated South African filmmaker Xoliswa Sithole takes us on a historical journey through time in this award-winning documentary that connects female resistance movements in South Africa. The starting point of the documentary is 9 August 1956, which marks the day that 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest again the dehumanising apartheid law that required all Africans to carry a pass. “You have touched a woman, you have struck a rock,” they chanted, a mantra which has continued to stand as testimony to the resilience of many remarkable South African female activists, including Albertina Sisulu, Lilian Ngoyi and Helen Joseph.

From the female resistance movements of the 1950s, the documentary takes us up to the end of apartheid, reminding us of the unwavering strength and courage of Winnie Madikizela Mandela and other women from the ANC, and into the contemporary era with the continued struggles against patriarchy fought through the ‘fallist’ movements of Rhodes Must Fall and Fees Must Fall. While women’s voices in political movements are often silenced and marginalised, the film gives a powerful platform to feminist activists, scholars, students and political leaders, to highlight the work that women continue to do in fighting patriarchy, race and class oppression.

It is held as part of the Memory is a Weapon mini festival.

The screening will be followed by a Facebook Live discussion with the director Xoliswa Sithole hosted by South African activist Firdoze Bulbulia.


This screening is pay what you feel from £2 - £10.

So come and join us as we embark on some amazing films from across Africa and beyond.