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In a deeply personal journey, Strike A Rock follows two women activists who take on the infamous platinum mining company, Lonmin. Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana are best friends living in Nkaneng, Marikana, an informal settlement in rural South Africa that sprung up around a mine operated by Lonmin Plc. This was the company at the heart of the Marikana Massacre of 2012, when 37 striking mineworkers were killed by police. Apart from underpaying workers, Lonmin has consistently reneged on legal obligations to provide housing and infrastructure to local people affected by the mine.

 

 

Since the 2012 massacre the living conditions that caused the strike have only got worse. And this is what Primrose and Thumeka are fighting against. When Primrose enters the world of national politics and leaves Marikana, Thumeka is left alone to lead the campaign to hold Lonmin to account. But the company and the state seem to collude against the people of Marikana. Meanwhile, Primrose’s role as a Member of Parliament creates an uncomfortable distance between her and her friend and she struggles to maintain a connection with the community she cares so deeply for. The film raises the question about where the power lies to affect social change. If companies like Lonmin ignore the law, and if the state refuses to enforce it, then surely the only option left is for the women to fight on the ground?

Directed by Aliki Saragas
English • 2017 • South Africa • 87 mins

Two South African mothers and best-friends are fighting to hold a platinum mine accountable to the community of Marikana.

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