Film: 9167

Places + Locations | 1950 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

A film about South Africa in the 1950's concentrating on Cape Town, sporting pastimes and agricultural diversity. Possibly intended to promote and encourage the country for immigration of white people.

Procession of mounted soldiers (white) with a crowd lining the streets watching on (almost exclusively white). Medium close up of the troops marching past. The occasion is the opening of parliament in Cape Town , South Africa with marching bandsmen passing underneath the camera . As the procession moves on there are shots of people dispersing . Returning to the procession, marines march by in formation and military (and other) dignitaries walk past. The procession and the car containing the Queen's representative, the Governor General, moves towards the parliament building. The Governor General's open top limousine draws up outside the building. He and a female companion walk up the parliament steps with soldiers or sailors saluting on either side.

The scene changes to a young white man on horseback, galloping up the beach with a dog running by their side. Table Mountain in Cape Town is in the background. Men and women are swimming in the surf , some have surfboards. Following a close up of an ocean liner's funnel , we see a liner docked in port . In street scenes we see pedestrians negotiating their way between traffic and a trolley bus. A panoramic view of the city is taken from atop Table Mountain. At sea a number of fishing vessels are evident, and a Malay fisherman displays his catch in close up. Sightseers stop their car at a vantage point on the coastline. Later, driving between vineyards , they pass some churchgoers (white) who are returning home in a horse drawn buggy . African and coloured labourers are picking bunches of grapes and placing them in wooden crates. A European couple approach a manor house through the vineyards. Coloured labourers (women) trim bunches of grapes with small scissors, prior to packing. Vats are rolled out of the manor's cellar building. Above the doorway a large stuccoed gable has high relief depicting Bacchanalian images. A wine taster samples a glass of wine.

A tractor pulling a thresher is driven through a wheat field. Another scene shows a thresher being pulled by a team of mules. Scenes of a tractor ploughing a field are followed by a country agricultural show. Farmers inspect distinctive long horned oxen. Races take place between horse drawn buggies. Ridgebacks (dogs) are shown in close up. Following on from a street scene in Johannesburg, with a view of trophies in a shop window, we see horses and their riders at a city gymkhana (and agricultural show?). 'Luxury Safari Tours' are offered in a close up of an advertisement hoarding. Black South Africans, dressed in elaborate tribal outfits with beaded headdresses and large beaded necklaces, stand next to stalls with wildlife trophies and other curios.

A close up of a building with 'Chamber of Mines' carved into its facade is followed by a still of a placard declaring 'The British Invention that Swept the World'. This is (presumably) the railway locomotive , as we see a miniature railway locomotive pulling carriages carrying young white children.

A distant shot of a white couple fishing from boulders in a river is followed by a light aircraft taxiing close to a holiday camp in the Eastern Transvaal. As the aircraft becomes stationery African women walk by , carrying large baskets on their heads. White families are grouped around a swimming pool , which is in front of thatched rondavels. The scene changes to a beach resort East of the Cape, on False Bay . Large crowds on the promenade are matched by large crowds on the beach, who are congregated in front of a row of beach huts. On another less crowded beach a couple are playing beach tennis , whilst others are walking and surfing . Students on the steps of the University of Cape Town are also walking (purposefully), and one is seated and reading.

A montage of shots follows. Some images have already been seen, others have not. Beach shots, sisal growing in an arid region, wheat fields, mountains, an eagles eye view of city tower blocks, port facilities, Malay fishermen, farmers harvesting fields of wheat, an African women in tribal dress holding an infant. We return to the parliamentary opening, apparently now complete. The Governor General leaves Parliament, and a procession moves away from the building. The final shot is a close up of the South African flag, fluttering on its flagpole.


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