• Labia Cinema
- Cape Town, South Africa from 25 September 2009
Cape Town, Republic of South Africa. Springbok Heights is a magnificent ivory tower – an art deco masterpiece and an anachronism in the new South Africa. Like its all-white inhabitants, it hasn't changed much in the last few decades.
A tightly wound knot of tiny - yet superbly designed - bachelor flats, Springbok Heights seems to weave its residents into its mortar. The longer they stay... the longer they stay.
Wouter Malan: Leadership qualities, musical tendencies, greasy facial hair. Wouter was compelled to take early retirement from his Physical Education post at the Oude Scholen Technical High School for Boys. Since then, the money has been very, very tight.
Hilda Steyn: 1.8m, 114kg, impressively large hands. Hilda has been a Springbok Heights resident all her adult life and has had a crush on Wouter since the day he moved in. But since undergoing elective surgery in the 1970s, Hilda lacks the one thing Wouter seeks most in a companion.
Nathan Golding: Affluent, endearing, mentally disabled. The son Wouter never could have... but sweet, trusting Nathan is cultivating a relationship with an outsider.
A lesbian couple, a tragic architect and a particularly large (but not unattractive) specimen of vermin swell the socially claustrophobic ranks of this tiny universe - which Springbok Heights strains to contain.
The Satyr of Springbok Heights is the distillation of many months of research and intimate interviews (by veteran broadcaster Nigel Murphy) with long-term residents. These compelling discussions reveal fundamental contradictions of testimony, pointing to a rather fragile perception of common events shared by the close, closeted community.
Expert commentary from Lin Sampson (Sunday Times), professor Fabio Todeschini and John Caviggia (University of Cape Town) gives insight into the terrifyingly beautiful qualities of a building that holds its inmates in its thrall.