The Wayback Machine - https://web.archive.org/web/20201129013749/http://ontheothersideoflife.com/
Lucky and Bongani pretend to be cool and in the know. To survive in a Cape Town township, they learned their lessons early: where to get drugs, where to get money, how to pick up girls and how to get rid of them.
Their mother does not pay much attention to her sons, but at least their grandmother is on their side. The two brothers share everything: the bed, the food and now even an accusation of murder. The first thing they get in prison is an unmistakable lesson about the rules there. No question, newcomers are always at the bottom of the hierarchy. They must learn quickly who may be attacked and who must be served. A matter of survival in jail.
Out on bail, something special awaits them – an initiation of a different kind.
The brothers move through three cultures, each of which calls for its own gestures and rituals. The deep rift between the generations becomes painfully obvious. The old people still have the sense of honour of African tradition; their successors have only a tiny chance of escaping the squalid suburbs. What will be their package in life?
Through a clever dramatic narrative structure, the film rises above a social environment study to become a far-ranging discourse about the future of an Africa ground to pieces between tradition and modernity.
"A perfect film about brotherhood and growing up. Patient and fair."
- Lindsay Mann, Director/Cinematographer for Beachwood Film
"The protagonists, sympathetic yet street smart, are unforgettable."
- Christopher Gray, Boston Pheonix
"A gorgeous portrait of two young men being thrust into adulthood in a beautiful place, tempered by the harsh, violent reality of life in the Darwinian society of a slum."
- Jason Mann, Pullstart Pictures, Compass Light, Maine
"Hard to imagine that this was done by two young filmmakers fresh out of film school in Germany. It's a stunning verite film marked by an earthy, hard-earned poeticism, a piercing sense of place, and indelible characters in Lucky and Bongani. The film's narrative thread keeps the viewer involved throughout, but it's the full-on access here to the brothers and their unfolding story that is nothing short of miraculous. There's not a whiff of any self-consciousness about any of the scenes, although it's assembled with tremendous artistry. A breath of fresh air through and through -- this is a movie to be seen, one of the great docs of 2010."
- Paul Sturtz, director True/False Film Festival
Download the Film
Buy direct from the filmmaking team. Download to own a copy of The Captain and His Pirate.
Rent the Film
Rent the film direct from the filmmakers to watch The Captain and His Pirate for 7 days.
Running time: 87 min.
Xhosa / English with English subtitles
Production companies: Brockhaus/Wolff Films, BR, HFF
Commissioning editor: Natalie Lambsdorff (BR)
Crew and Film details