Friday, December 6, 2013

"Sun City", the video

A while back I waxed rhapsodic about the anti-apartheid protest song, "Sun City". The video is online.

It would be hard to mess up this powerful piece of music, but this video almost succeeds. Many of the singers marching through the streets look as if they know how stagey and inauthentic their lip-syncing is. Worse, the dancing makes them look like they're partying rather than protesting.

Yet intercut with these inept sequences is powerful imagery. An animated fist rips the screen as if it were a poster, revealing in the jagged tears footage from South Africa that includes peaceful protests, police beatings, funeral processions, and oblivious vacationers in the showcase South African resort of the song's title.

I was reminded of the song in the wake of Nelson Mandela's death. He and it have nothing in common except that they're both linked to "South Africa" in my mind. Even so, the song reminds us of what South Africa once was and why Mandela mattered.

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