Dying to be Human is a short film about two women facing the prospect of death. Their stories are deeply intertwined, so much so that they are treated as a single narrative that is set in the same time and place.
The story of an affluent young woman suffering from suicidal ideation is framed against the stark reality of a young mother who survived a hazardous ocean crossing.
Visual imagery conveys the narrative, with very little dialogue, allowing the creators to merge the two stories as one narrative while letting viewers interpret what is happening.
We’re living in a time of rampant greed and narcissism, captivated by an unprecedented ability to consume. The goods that feed this consumptive behaviour are expropriated from foreign soils and communities, deepening poverty and inciting violence.
Director and music: Stacey van Schalkwyk
Cinematography, production, editing and programming: Yashin Naidoo
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Stacey van Schalkwyk Naidoo
Stacey is an award-winning musician, composer, researcher, and educator. In addition to solo performances, she co-founded Mosiac, a band that performed for Nelson Mandela’s birthday, the African Economic Forum’s Heads of State, and the Common Wealth Cultural Exchange Conference. Moreover, Stacey has played with the likes of Deepak Ram, KZNPO, and Darius Brubeck on Gathering Forces Vol. 2.
After her son was born, she took time off from performing, which resulted in a two-decade hiatus. During this time, she started a research company that specialized in sociocultural and development research. On numerous occasions, Stacey has been named best speaker at National and International Conferences where she presented her research. Stacey returned to the stage in 2019, formed Point of Humanness, and has been working as a composer, director, flautist, and educator.
Yashin is a photographer, filmmaker, producer and bass player from the Eastern Cape. While photography was his introduction to the creative industry, his potential was unlocked when he created work that merged his diverse skill sets. In 2020, Yashin co-founded a company called Point of Humanness, which specialises in projects combining poetry, music, and cinematography. He has also filmed and produced a number of music videos for South African artists and schools. Yashin is currently working on expanding his filmmaking projects to include participation in international film festivals. For his photography, Yashin has been awarded several commendation awards. Yashin has performed as a bass player with various crossover music chamber ensembles at venues and festivals in South Africa.
Lethabo Makweya is a young creative who was recently appointed director for Promethean Media. She is also in the process of completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in Dramatic Arts and Organisational Psychology. She draws on many vehicles in the performing arts to express her voice – especially poetry. Lethabo co-directed and wrote the anthologies for two productions that were part of the National Arts Festival in 2021. Additionally, she has been in several productions for the Rhodes Drama Department, including Theatre in Motion, Young Directors Season and many more minor productions. She is a member of MEQOQO – a playback theatre group that focuses on improvisational theatre.
The multi-talented Erin Powers is a 17-year-old aspiring actor, musician and dancer, presently schooling at, and the Head Girl of, the DSG in Makhanda. She is a trained dancer, in ballet, tap and modern, performing at the National Arts Festival multiple times with Movements Dance School. Her primary musical instrument is the saxophone. She was an actor in Point of Humanness: Humans Listen and played the lead role of Morticia in the DSG/SAC production of Addams Family the Musical.