Richard Ware Adams


Encounters Through Film

Six Months in Joburg

This news is pre-earthquake and pre-hurricane Irene, and hence old, but I have to start somewhere.  (I felt a bit cheated because I didn’t notice the earthquake and as a Manhattanite I didn’t get to experience the eye of the hurricane.  As a kid I had loved earthquake movies – San Francisco, The Last Days of Pompeii, Green Dolphin Street……)


I spent six of the past twelve months in Johannesburg, South Africa, while my wife, Elzbieta Matynia, did research for a new book.  I owe her a lot because on about day two we were e-mailed the text of a talk we were going to hear the next day, and on about page two I found the inspiration for a film, and my original hunch has enjoyed remarkable karma so far, and will be keeping me busy for several months to come.


In Joburg meanwhile there were several screenings of oldies I had made or worked on: a campus discussion/screening of Citizens organized by a recently evolving off-shoot of the South African Communist Party; a screening of Men of Bronze for an interestingly mixed full house at the Alliance Francaise; and a South African “premiere” of Asylum, with a very well-attended repeat showing later, at Joburg’s recently launched Bioscope, whose founders, film buffs Darryl Els and Russell Grant, bring to it the same energy and flair and promise that launched New York’s Film Forum.

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