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Cinderella of the Cape Flats is an exuberant documentary that gives an insider's perspective on a unique South African battle. For the women of the Cape Flats, a working ghetto in Cape Town, the "Spring Queen" beauty pageant isn't just a silly way to pass the time, it's a way to momentarily forget their worries. All of the factories in the region compete, each hosting their own pageant with the winners advancing to the "Spring Queen" pageant, organized by the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union. It is the largest beauty pageant in South Africa and it's far more exciting than most pageants you'll see in this country. The film focuses on the Rex Trueform factory, where the pageant is a welcome distraction from the drudgery of garment assembly. The preparations are not only pored over by the participants, but are also watched eagerly from the sidelines by hundreds of other workers. Beverly, who is vying for the crown, has ambitions far greater than being crowned Miss Rex Trueform: "Five years from now I'll own my own company and live in a mansion." Her goals may not sound realistic given her poverty, but her spirit -- and that of her coworkers' -- is infectious. They have undoubtedly suffered immense hardship through apartheid and still live in abject poverty, but there isn't a trace of bitterness in how these contestants meet the world. Cinderella of the Cape Flats never stoops to didactic explanations as it reminds us that the human spirit can flourish under any circumstances.

Film Information
Year: 2004
Length: 58 minutes
Language: Afrikaan
Country: South Africa
Premiere: World
Cast & Credits
About the Director(s)
Jane Kennedy is a white South African who is strongly committed to the notion of a better life for all, within all areas of society. She believes that South Africa has all that it needs to be a global leader in ways previously unimaginable -- based primarily on the strength and character of the African spirit. Kennedy's deepest desire has always been to find and share stories of hope, transformation, and the magnificence of the human spirit. She is passionate about storytelling, and believes the film and video medium can be used creatively and constructively for the benefit of society, citing the poet Maya Angelou: "There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you." Kennedy sees herself as a change agent within this context, focusing her film and video production on community development and transformation. Cinderella of the Cape Flats is her first commissioned documentary.


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