Written and Directed by Darrell James Roodt, the heart rendering drama Yesterday will be broadcast at 20:30 on 1 December 2020 on SABC in commemoration of World AIDS Day.
Yesterday (Leleti Khumalo) lives in Rooihoek, a remote village in South Africa’s Zululand. Her everyday life is not easy – there is little money, no modern conveniences, and her husband is away in Johannesburg working as a miner – but she possesses a sunny nature, and takes great joy in her seven-year-old daughter, Beauty (Lihle Mvelase).
The precarious balance of Yesterday’s life is suddenly threatened when she is diagnosed with AIDS and must journey afar to understand and confront her illness. Yesterday’s primary driving force is Beauty, who is a year away from starting school. Yesterday never had the chance to go to school and she sets her sights on a single goal: to be with Beauty on her first day of class, along with all the other proud mothers.
Set against the awesome, harsh landscapes of South Africa, Yesterday is an eloquent, unsentimental film that quietly builds an overwhelming emotional force. The sure hand of writer/director Darrell James Roodt (Cry, The Beloved Country, Sarafina!) makes the exotic world of the story both authentic and compelling, and the film resonates from the heartbreakingly beautiful face of lead actress Khumalo (who played Sarafina at 18).
Courage, compassion and hope
The first film ever made in the Zulu language, Yesterday is a story of courage, compassion and hope, set in contemporary South Africa, ten years after the arrival of democracy. It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 77th Academy Awards. It also won Best Sound and Best Editing at the inaugural edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards. It was also nominated for Outstanding Made for Television Movie at the 2006 Primetime Emmy Awards.
Yesterday is produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring and also stars Kenneth Kambule, Harriet Lehabe and Camilla Walker.
World Aids Day
World AIDS Day, designated on 1 December every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease.