Americans, Mongrels & Funky Junkies The Life of Jo Menell

Screens with:

Cape Town’s Beach Calligraher

Cape Town’s Beach Calligrapher creates visual poetry as we learn about calligrapher and letter artist, Andrew van der Merwe and his art while we watch him create his beach calligraphy. … Read More »

South African filmmaker Jo Menell is most well-known for the cult classic, Dick, which featured shots of 1000 penises accompanied by audio commentary from women. The nature of that film, however, belies a rich career in film and journalism that spans a 1981 Bob Marley documentary, the first post-apartheid documentary about Mandela in 1997, and the Street Talk television series, as well as relationships with key figures from the 20th Century. Born into a life of privilege, Menell had progressive political inclinations and soon left apartheid South Africa for Britain where he was schooled in the ways and connections of the British ruling class. The film chronicles his rich and varied life using archival footage alongside an interview conducted with Menell while his portrait is being painted by Cape Town artist Beezy Bailey.


Paul Yule Director
Director Paul YuleIn a distinguished career, Paul Yule has made more than 35 films on six continents, often on controversial political and social themes, several of which have won major awards, including an International Emmy (for Damned In The USA), a Royal Television Society Prize (The Basil D’Oliveira Conspiracy), Amnesty International Prize (Babitski’s War) and The Edward Morrow Prize (The House of War).

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Jo Menell Documentary Subject
Jo Menell

Jo Menell is a rare man whose life of exile and activism has aligned with many of the key moments and figures of the last 60 years. His exceptional capacity to be both storyteller and subject offers an unusual and brilliant perspective and, as we see him finally make sense of his personal exile, a radical way forward.

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World Premiere Festival Guest African Feature
Cape Town
Fri 14 June / 6.15pm + Q&A
Paul Yule
South Africa
86 minutes