I'm Not Black, I'm Coloured


Director: Kiersten Chace

Country: South Africa

Runtime: 78 minutes

Category: 3rd Africa World Documentary

An engaging, informative and emotional examination of the legacy of Apartheid in South Africa from the viewpoint of the Cape Coloured, the majority ­population.

For more than 350 years they have been belittled, stripped of anything they can call their own and oppressed, resulting in a ­major identity crisis.

The people embraced the ­concept of Archbishop Desmond Tutu's multi-racial "rainbow nation" following the ANC's ­electoral victory in 1994 that spelled the end of Apartheid.

But they soon discovered freedom, economic growth and equal representation did not include them.

They claim that during Apartheid, "we were not white enough, now we are not black enough" to benefit from the social promotions and affirmative ­action introduced by the ANC.

The documentary traces the ­origins of the Cape Coloured, detailing how they descended from mixed race relationships between Black Bantu slaves, European ­settlers and indigenous Khoisans. Some also have Malay ancestry.

Following the arrival of the British in 1775 and their taking control of Cape Town, Afrikaners (those of European descent, mainly Dutch and German) felt threatened and moved ­further into South Africa.

Tensions spilled over and resulted in the Boer wars, with opposition to the British reaching fever pitch at the turn of the 20th ­Century.

The movie argues this anger and fear of losing their identity led to Apartheid as the Afrikaners never wanted to feel ­oppressed again.

The Apartheid-creating National Party formed to preserve and promote Afrikaner ideology and ­ethnic nationalism, which sought to oppose British rule and strengthen racial separation.

After they came to power, the Cape Coloured lost their vote, ­despite promises made, and were impacted by Apartheid laws.

The races were divided into four categories - Black, White, Coloured and Indian - and segregated.

Tests, such as nose metres, ­determined your race and many families were torn apart because ­members were determined White, others Coloured or Black.

The documentary details forced removals, notably that of the city's District 6, when 60,000 ­people were evicted and ordered far out to the Cape Flats.

District 6, the movie claims, was the perfect "rainbow nation", where all races and religions lived harmoniously together.

Blacks and Coloureds were forced to live in separate townships, mostly undesirable, infertile land, while policies were ­created to stop them prospering.

The Coloured people were led to believe by the White-controlled media's propaganda that Blacks were a threat in order to keep ­segregation rife.

Despite the abolition of Apartheid, the Cape Coloured say life is still a struggle and they have lost their identity.

Those interviewed by the documentary - including Coloured pastors, MPs, ­students and town elders - criticise how affirmative action policies do not benefit them, while the western media only distinguishes between Blacks and Whites, so investment goes to Black townships rather than Coloured ones.

The documentary ­includes ­emotive interviews, while narration is informative, catering to a mass ­audience.

Local elders, community leaders, pastors and ­students give first-hand ­accounts of their painful ­experiences under Apartheid - being labelled "poor Whites" and "wannabe Whites".

They also reveal their concerns for the future as tensions continue - they admit there is racism ­towards Blacks - and ­emphasise their desire for their identity as Coloured to be ­recognized.

The people say they are not Black, Zulu or Xhosa but proud of their mixed-race heritage and want to stop being marginalized by both Blacks and Whites - to have a voice after centuries of being overlooked.