yesterday-darell roodt

Topics: South Africa, HIV, AIDS Pages: 7 (1325 words) Published: December 23, 2013

”Yesterday” was better than today... -a film directed by Darrell Roodt-

„Yesterday” is a movie written and directed by the filmmaker Darrell Roodt in 2004.This movie

is regarded as being the first international movie shot in Zulu language.It encompasses several

issues which are extremely important in contemporary South Africa,as for instance:

poverty,illness mainly with HIV infection and unproper medical attention.

Yesterday,a thirty year old Zulu woman is the main protagonist of Darrell Roodt’s movie.She

lives in a small rural village in KwaZulu‐Natal province of South Africa, more precisely in

Rooihoek with her seven years old daughter Beauty.The movie begins with the depiction of a

dusty and barren landscape of the region,in summer(ehlobo).Due to her relentless cough,the

central character has to go to the nearest village,which is two hours away walking.On their way

to see the doctor,her daughter asks her a quite peculiar question: why is she not a bird and could

fly like one?This symbol about the bird bares deep symbolic significance because it is a

recurrent motif throughout the movie.For many Zulu native people the birds are considered to be

the “souls of human beings”1 thus in a way symbolizing eternal life.Considering the fact that

usually symbols are open to interpretation,in our context is mainly regarded as being a symbol

of freedom,especialy the desire to achieve it.On their way to the clinic from Koomdrai ,they

encounter two teachers who are trying to find jobs(it is actually mentioned that they are seeking

for jobs for two years)in her village.After a short discussion they continue their journey and

when they arrive at the clinic a long queue is waiting for them.Due to the fact that there is only

one doctor in Koomdrai, it takes a very long time for her in order to make an appointment,but

when she finally manages to receive an appointment she is diagnosed as being HIV

positive.Because of her low education and low knowledge about this virus,at first she could not

understand how was it possible that she was infected.Determined to inform her husband about

this issue,she travels to Johannesburg.She waits for him as he comes out from the mine and

explains him the purpose of her journey.Hearing this ,her husband acts extremely violently:is

harsh on her and even beats her and the security worker is even witnessing all this.At this

extreme we can argue the fact that there is a great deal of inequality between men’s rights and

women’s rights.Women were not supposed to talk openly and with confidentiality about having

HIV.At one point in the movie,this issue is emphasized,more exactly when Yesterday tells her

friend(the teacher) that once, a woman from Bergville was killed because the community found

out that she was infected with the virus.She is afraid to talk openly about her problem,because

the community often discriminates the people having HIV,when they should instead be more

helpful and supportive with the ones in need.

In a research made in 1999 in KwalaZulu region,it was pointed out that a huge number of

women were infected by their husbands.Men,being away for several months or even years,they

got infected by this virus and on their return home they infected their wives as well.2 This issue

is quite well illustrated in this movie. In this province, according to statistics,the highest amount

of HIV infections can be encountered.Because of this,men are labeled by the community,but as

for women,they are considered to be...
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