THREE NEW AFRO-CENTRIC FILMS“— Mash-ups of American Genre tropes and African Sensibilities”


“Mash-ups of American Genre tropes and African Sensibilities”

Amos Lassen

Red Dirt Report’s Louis Fowler says that “this is the way cinema is supposed to be, without the studio notes and constant interference. It’s the last bastion of true independent cinema”. IndiePix brings us three Retro Afrika films that are new Apartheid-era cult classics. Rarely Seen Outside South African Borders, these Three Digitally-Restored Genre Films Will Be Available on DVD ($19.95srp each), VOD and Digital, as Well the SVOD Service, IndiePix Unlimited on March 26, 2019

The Retro Afrika Collection pays homage to Hollywood action B-movie style and features the forgotten and discarded genre classics of African cinema. On March 26th, the third three-film collection of “RICH GIRL”, “ISIBOSHWA” and “HOSTAGE”. The films from Retro Afrika Bioscope, a label dedicated to locating, acquiring, restoring and re-releasing retro South African films from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, have all have undergone a highly-specialized digital restoration process for optimal viewing. Louis Fowler of Red Dirt Report says, “It’s remarkable to watch these films in their original Zulu language — as they really should be seen — transporting you to a new world of creative geniuses who wouldn’t let the oppressive government hold them or their home-grown art down.”

We get hapless kidnappers, blackmail and greed run amok, the trio of crime capers includes: 

“RICH GIRL (1980) — The work’s cut out for a highly trained bodyguard, tasked with protecting a wealthy businessman’s pampered and beautiful fine arts connoisseur daughter. She’s a girl who doesn’t believe she needs protection from anyone! The two end up kidnapped by thugs, while the crooks have no clue as to what they have in store. Director Tonie Van Der Merwe, one of the most popular filmmakers among black audiences in the 1970s and ’80s with 400 films to his credit, helmed this drama starring Innocent “Popo” Gumede, who was featured in many of Van Der Merwe’s films. (Zulu with English subtitles, 87 mins.)

ISIBOSHWA (1989) — In a wilderness fable of adolescence and greed, a group of boys set out on adventure, lured by a tale of missing treasure. Once the booty they seek is found, they’re overcome by gold-fever and turn on one another. Met with a similarly feverish pair of thieves, they realign in their camaraderie to get the last laugh over their treasure-seeking competitors. Tonie Van Der Merwe directed this adventure-filled caper, starring Popo Gumede Sizwe Dlamini and Hector Mathanda. (Zulu with English subtitles, 70 mins.)

HOSTAGE (1980) — Bra Jack and his two underlings, Jabu and Thabi, decide to blackmail a young local businessman, Ben, in the hopes of using one of his warehouses to store a shipment of incoming drugs. Ben, proving himself an upstanding citizen, refuses to cooperate, at least until his wife Thuli is kidnapped by the crooks! Ben turns to a friend, Michael, who helps him come up with a rescue plan in this crime drama starring the prolific Popo Gumede. Co-stars include Dumi Shongwe, Pepsi Mabizela, Vincent Vilakazi and Zanele Nyidi. (Zulu with English subtitles, 69 mins.)

Looking for a deeper dive into Sollywood? Don’t miss the first six RETRO AFRIKA titles, available now, including UMBANGO and REVENGE, a pair of unforgettable Zulu Westerns, FISHY STONES, GONE CRAZY and THE COMEDIANS, a trio of outsized, humorous crime capers representative of the genre and CHARLIE STEEL, a thriller featuring the eponymous renowned private investigator. (All have been reviewed here).


About IndiePix Films®

Since 2004, New York-based IndiePix Films® has delivered a highly-curated collection of the best independent films from around the world. Offering a singular catalog of nearly 2,000 films across genres, the IndiePix team selects singular titles from the international festival circuit. Avenues for distribution include their newly-launched streaming service, IndiePix Unlimited, their dedicated commerce site,, which offers download-to-own, streaming rental and physical media direct to consumers, and via national retail channels and select theatrical exhibition. IndiePix also owns Festival Genius, the premier platform for connecting film festivals to audiences through online ticketing, calendars, iphone apps, and more.


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