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For nearly six decades, the celebrated South African photographer David Goldblatt (1930-2018) documented the impact of apartheid on South Africa. As a white Jewish native of Johannesburg, he brought both an insider and outsider perspective to his country, which was dominated by a white Christian Afrikaner elite. And, although he viewed his work as a ‘dialogue’ between himself, his subjects and his fellow South Africans rather than an instrument of liberation, it carried a nuanced yet powerful critique of the contradictions and cruelties of apartheid. His non-commercial projects before apartheid’s fall in 1994 were shot only in monochrome, with Goldblatt finding colour to be ‘too sweet a medium to express the anger, disgust and fear’ of the era. Filmed during the final months of Goldblatt’s life, this short by the nonprofit organisation Art21 provides a glimpse into his unwavering career as a photographer. Portraying him as anti-censorship and intent on providing a detached and observational look at his country’s ever-changing landscape until the end, the film offers a worthy bookend to Goldblatt’s impressive body of work.
Video by Art21
Director: Ian Forster
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