MLUNGU WAM (GOOD MADAM) (TIFF2021) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

A horror film about the way the legacy of apartheid continues to be internalized on a personal and professional level in contemporary South Africa, Mlungu Wam follows single mother Tsidi who, after the death of her beloved grandmother, is forced to move with her daughter Winnie into the house of a rich white woman Diane where Tsidi grew up, and where her mother Mavis still works as a housekeeper. Mlungu Wam is a masterclass in how horror can speak to race and inequality, set in a world of servitude presented as a terrifying, powerful and unrelentingly enduring mode of postcolonial possession – both literally and metaphorically – whose presence can be felt long after the official era of apartheid has supposedly ended.

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