This week our class watched the South African film Yesterday, which illustrates the many different social, economical, and cultural challenges in present day South Africa.
The film follows a young mother, Yesterday, who is trying to raise her seven year old daughter Beauty in a rural Zulu village. Yesterday becomes ill and treks to the clinic to see a doctor.
Yesterday is plagued by a persistent cough and feelings of weakness. She goes to the local clinic, which is an extremely long walk for her and Beauty. She waits all day in the long queue to see the doctor, only to be turned away at the end of the day without having seen the doctor. She brushes it off, saying that she is not that ill.
When Beauty finds her mother collapsed on the doorstep of their home, she runs to call her mother’s friend, the teacher. Yesterday consults a traditional healer (sangoma), but her teacher friend insists she return to the clinic.
The doctor tells Yesterday that she is sick with AIDS and that she probably got it from her husband, who is away working in a mine. Yesterday understands that she will die from this disease, leaving her daughter alone.
She makes a plan to travel to the mine in Johannesburg where her husband, John, works to tell him the news and to tell him that he also is sick. He reacts to this news very badly and beats her, while his supervisor looks in and then looks away.- From Wikipedia
This week students will take an in-depth look into some of the challenges that are presented in the film.