Catherine Stewart – director – While You Weren’t Looking
FRED’s Chiara Nicoletti meets Catherine Stewart, director of While You Weren’t Looking, her first feature film after many years directing and writing TV series.
While You Weren’t Looking is an ensemble film portraying three love stories in Cape town, South Africa. By narrating these stories, Catherine Stewart introduces the audience to the status of LGBT community in South Africa, their legal achievements (thanks to the new Constitution of 1994, they can get married and adopt children) that don’t correspond to a real cultural and social change in people’s minds.
While You Weren’t Looking shows us the big contradictions in modern South Africa.
WHILE YOU WEREN’T LOOKING: Cape Town, South Africa. Mack is a white gay man who likes black guys. He is looking for Salute, a former lover with whom he had fought for civil rights 20 years earlier. Salute now goes by the name of Joe: he has a wife, children and a career in state administration. Shado is an androgynous lesbian who lives in the slums and goes by the name of Tommy Boy. She pretends to be a boy and falls in love with Asanda, an 18 year-old girl. Asanda has been the poster child of all the social changes the country had gone through: she is the adopted daughter of Terri and Dez, one of the first lesbian South African couples to get married (half African, half WASP).
United colours of South Africa: a fascinating overview of the LGBT community, a politicised soap opera where sadly, and in spite of everything, sexism, classism and racism still play a crucial part. Catherine Stewart debuts with this film after learning her trade in TV series.