WCED partners with EMS productions to bring local history home
26 August 2021
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and EMS Productions celebrated Women’s Month and Dulcie September’s birthday with screenings in schools of the powerful and award-winning documentary, Murder in Paris.
The WCED’s General Education and Training (GET) Curriculum Directorate has partnered with EMS productions to bring our local history home. Fresh from winning the prestigious Best South African Documentary Award at the 42nd edition of the Oscar-qualifying Durban International Festival, the Murder in Paris documentary is sharing the story of Dulcie September with a new generation.
A schools’ screening campaign was launched in August, a fitting celebration of Dulcie’s life in Women’s Month, bringing this powerful story into the classroom. Directed by Enver Samuel, Murder in Paris is a political crime thriller documentary that traces the motives for the assassination of Cape Town-born Anti-Apartheid activist, Dulcie September.
Dulcie was the ANC representative in France who was mysteriously murdered in the heart of Paris on 29 March 1988. Now, 33 years after her death, the documentary is bringing the name of this lesser-known struggle heroine back into the public sphere.
“At each screening our facilitators ask, ‘Before this film, had you ever heard of Dulcie September?’ and the answer is almost always a unanimous no,” said Impact Producer Miki Redelinghuys. “This is the exciting part of our schools’ campaign, with each screening, around 30 young people learn who Dulcie was, they learn about her sense of justice, leadership and the truth for which she stood. A new generation of South Africans will know who Dulcie September is”.
Siso Naile, the Gauteng screenings facilitator adds: “Taking this film to schools, which unpacks the life and circumstances of Dulcie’s assassination, has been an eye-opener and indicator of how role players of the struggle have somehow been forgotten or their stories never told”.
While the Women’s Month screenings are part of a pilot phase to screen Murder in Paris in twenty schools in the Western Cape and Gauteng, there are plans to extend the initiative so that all schools have access to the film and supporting educational materials. The screenings are supported by a comprehensive educational guide, written by a leading voice in South African educational transformation. It’s a fitting tribute to the former teacher, who became an activist and a timely birthday gift, as Dulcie would have turned 86 years old this month.
Rae Human has led the discussions at schools’ screenings in Cape Town: "I am inspired by women like Dulcie because I see so much of my own family in her story. Speaking to school kids about the context of her work and the influence she had on many is always incredible, because you start to see that her struggle is very linked to their present".
To date, nobody has been found guilty for Dulcie September’s murder: the case in France was closed as inconclusive in 1992. Due to insufficient evidence received from the French investigation the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were unresolved. Lawyers working on behalf of Dulcie September’s family are currently motivating to re-open of the case.
If you would like to arrange a school screening of Murder in Paris, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org