Film
Still from Scenes from a Dry City.

Watch this Evocative South African Documentary 'Scenes from a Dry City'

The 12-minute short film highlights the water crisis in the city of Cape Town.

The racial divide between those living in the poor township of Khayelitsha to the affluent beach-side suburb of Clifton is growing wider. Stringent water restrictions on those who've always had water have almost leveled the playing field with those who've always lacked it. A persistent drought, dangerously low dam levels and the ever-present threat of taps running completely dry, are just some of the poignant scenes depicted in Scenes of a Dry City.


Veteran South African documentary filmmakers Francois Verster and Simon Wood teamed up with Academy Award-winning producer Laura Poitras to create a deeply moving and reflective piece of protest cinema.

Cape Town has been struggling with dwindling water sources for years now. Insufficient rains, near-empty dam levels and the looming 'Day Zero' are the daily realities of its residents. What is interesting, however, is how the crisis and subsequent attempts to privatize water have affected its residents differently.

Still from Scenes from a Dry City

Scenes from a Dry City explores the Cape Town water crisis from different societal perspectives. From illegal car washers, religious groups in protest of water privatization to golfers on lush green courses who are completely oblivious to the water crisis as a whole.

In their press release, Verster and Wood say:

"There had been a slate of journalistic films about the impact of the water crisis in Cape Town. We wanted to make a film that attempted instead, perhaps in a very tenuous way, to inhabit the perspective of water itself, its ultimate indifference to what is happening in the city, and thereby to try assess some of the deeper existential dimensions involved in the debate."

Still from Scenes from a Dry City

The documentary has been described by the International Documentary Film Festival as "a film that is as visually stunning as it is urgent".

Watch the documentary below:


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(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

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