South African Movie About Rural Woman’s Struggle With HIV/AIDS Nominated for Academy Award
South African filmmaker Darrell James Roodt's film "Yesterday," which is about a rural woman struggling with HIV/AIDS, last week received an Academy Award nomination for best foreign language film, the first-ever nomination for a South African movie, the Chicago Tribune reports (Goering, Chicago Tribune, 1/30). The film, which is the first full-length film made in the Zulu language, is set in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where 25% of women are estimated to be HIV-positive (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/27/04). "Yesterday," named for the title character, follows the story of a young woman who finds out her migrant mineworker husband has given her HIV and comes to realize that "their precocious young daughter will soon be an orphan," according to the Tribune. The film, which was shot in 26 days with a budget of less than $1 million, earned about $300,000 at the box office in South Africa, in part because of the country's "continued reluctance to publicly talk about AIDS," according to the Tribune. The collaborators on the film said the Oscar nomination was a "victory" for the South African film industry, the Tribune reports. The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which helped finance the film, in March will begin showing "Yesterday" for free in rural villages in KwaZulu-Natal and throughout the country. Anant Singh, the film's producer, said he hopes to get the movie shown on South African television, and negotiations currently are taking place between HBO and the South African production company Videovision Entertainment to have it shown in the United States (Chicago Tribune, 1/30). The film was shown at the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, in July 2004, where it received a standing ovation (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/27/04).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.