Toxic relationships – through Uga’s lens

Luyanda Mdingi, Uga Carlini, Emile Petersen and Christia Visser, front.

Fish Hoek film-maker Uga Carlini has been working on a new project with actress and singer Christia Visser.

Visser starred in Carlini’s award-winning 2018 movie, Alison, which told the remarkable survival story of Alison Botha, who in 1994 was raped, stabbed more than 60 times and left for dead.

The film bagged several accolades at the WOW Women of the Year film festival and the Asian Pacific Film Festival as well as the Humanitarian Film Maker Award – not to mention five nominations for the SAFTAS – the South African Film and Television Awards.

Carlini also worked with Visser, of Bellville, earlier this year, on another music video, 17 Shots, which was filmed entirely on the Cape Peninsula, including Fish Hoek Beach and Glencairn.

Carlini says 17 Shots – which you can find on YouTube – has been an official selection for the LA-based, New Media Film Festival.

It was also runner up for Best Director and Best Music Video in the International Underground Music Video Film Festival and a finalist in the Around International Film Festival and won Bronze at The Global Music Awards.

In the latest music video, Visser appears with dancers Emile Petersen, Luyanda Mdingi and Ruan Groenewald. Choreography is by Anunda Fuchs.

Visser – who also starred in the 2016 Afrikaans drama, Tess, based on the novel Whiplash by Tracey Farren and directed by Meg Rickards – says the music video is about recognising toxic relationships and the fight to “not lose yourself in the chaos”.

She says: “This song is personal, if you’ve never been in a toxic relationship, then someone close to you has, but we’ve all experienced it. The song touches on choosing whether to stay for them or go for you. We’ve constructed a dance performance video of the struggle, a fight for control. I am connected to my partners, being manipulated by their actions… But the choice to leave is always in my hands.”

Filming the video over Women’s Month was hugely relevant, she says. “We still have huge numbers of women, dying under abusive partners. This song will hopefully serve as a reminder for those who tend to shy away from the facts, also, be a reminder to women who are going through an abusive relationship (be it physical or emotional) that they are not alone and that they have a choice, they can fight back.”