B-Schemes from South Africa

January 2nd 2019 - February 25th 2019

Series site

"In partnership with Gravel Road Entertainment, Spectacle is thrilled to exhibit a handful of deep cuts from the heyday of South African blaxploitation cinema, excavated and restored by Johannesburg-based Retro Afrika Bioscope. Many of these were developed under a government subsidy spearheaded by one Tonie van der Merwe, the white owner of a construction company who realized serious money was to be made by showing inexpensively made genre films in impoverished Black townships. (In a 2015 Guardian interview, van der Merwe said, “We used all of my equipment as props. My diggers. My airplane. My cars.”)"

"The ensuing “B-Schemes” are complicated: they star entirely Black casts, yet the movies are apolitical genre thrillers, melodramas, adaptations of South African novels – Van Der Merwe himself is estimated to have worked on nearly 400 of them, a quarter of what was produced until the end of the white-supremacist regime in 1990. Retro Afrika Bioscope is dedicated to restoring and distributing them worldwide, including making each of the films available streaming on their website. (The favored masterpiece is 1986’s Zulu-language desert western UMBANGO – THE FEUD – coming to Spectacle in February.)" –Spectacle

Past Screenings

  • Joe Bullet
    Louis de Witt197379 minDigital Video
    • Spectacle
      • Wednesday Jan 27:30pm
      • Thursday Jan 1010:00pm
      • Monday Jan 147:30pm
      • Thursday Jan 1710:00pm
      • Saturday Feb 2311:55pm
  • Bullet on the Run
    Tony van der Merwe198290 minDigital Video
    • Spectacle
      • Sunday Jan 135:00pm
      • Sunday Jan 205:00pm
      • Thursday Jan 2410:00pm
      • Monday Jan 287:30pm
      • Wednesday Jan 3010:00pm
  • Charlie Steel
    Bevis Parsons198480 minDigital Video
    • Spectacle
      • Saturday Feb 211:55pm
      • Thursday Feb 710:00pm
      • Wednesday Feb 2010:00pm
  • Friday's Ghost
    ????19??72 minDigital Video
    • Spectacle
      • Friday Feb 810:00pm
      • Monday Feb 1810:00pm
  • Umbango
    Tonie van der Merwe198668 minDigital Video
    • Spectacle
      • Saturday Feb 910:00pm
      • Monday Feb 117:30pm
      • Saturday Feb 1610:00pm
      • Monday Feb 2510:00pm
  • Lola
    Brett Owen198?75 minDigital Video
    • Spectacle
      • Tuesday Feb 127:30pm
      • Sunday Feb 177:30pm