Directed by Mark J. Kaplan • Documentary • 2005 • 68 minutes
BETWEEN JOYCE AND REMEMBRANCE is a hard-hitting documentary about truth and reconciliation in South Africa, focusing on the family of the tortured, poisoned and murdered student activist, Siphiwo Mtimkulu.
Producer Mark Kaplan spent seven years documenting the lives of Joyce and Sikhumbuzo Mtimkulu, mother and son of the murdered young man, culminating in a meeting of the family with Siphiwo's killer, Gideon Nieuwoudt, a former colonel in the apartheid government's hated security police.
Kaplan reveals the fragility of South Africa's transition to democracy by exploring the feelings of the Mtimkulu family. The film picks up where the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission left off. It offers a deeper understanding of the difficulty of reconciling with torturers, knowing they will receive no punishment. A burial of the only physical remains of Siphiwo—a handful of his hair—is a pitiful closure. For Siphiwo's son, Sikhumbuzo, this may not be enough.
"Constructed with honesty and beautifully photographed. But it is history that makes it what it is. These extraordinary circumstances remind one how far we've come and how far we have to go." —Matthew Krouse, Mail and Guardian Online