Jewel – Movie Review
Director: Adze Ugah
Writer: Glenrose Ndlovu, Adze Ugah (Screenplay)
- Nqobile Nunu K.H.
- Michelle Botes
- Connie Chiume
Plot: A story about an unlikely love, and how some memories can never be forgotten.
Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Jewel starts as South African travel photographer Tyra Black (Botes) finds herself in Sharpeville. A town surrounded by the tragedy of the massacre in 1960. Taking a shine to a local woman Siya (Nunu K.H.), she asks for a personal tour of the town.
Making the offer for a private set of tours, Siya must overcome her own doubts, with the town not approving of the friendship. While her grandmother sees Tyra as a nice person who can help the family with their problems.
Verdict on Jewel
Tyra Black is a travel photographer, who does have a previous connection to the town. Although she was never raised there, she has a painful connection to it. She is searching for the best shots, ones that aren’t only of the memorial. Taking a shine to a local woman, she must learn how the town runs. Never afraid to stand up against anyone who confronts her.
Siya is a woman that tries to keep to herself while caring for her ill grandmother. She is reluctant to help Tyra even if the money could help her family. Left dealing with the consequences of her decision to help, she is torn between following a dream or staying with family.
Siya’s Grandmother is stuck around the home, needing care for her but doesn’t want to hold Siya back from her own life. Tshepo is Siya’s boyfriend, he gets jealous of the new friendship, using his own intimidation motives to stay ahead of the pair.
Michelle Botes as the confident photographer is great in the movie. She brings the no-fear approach to what her character goes through. Brings us a character you would want to go travelling with because they challenge the experience.
Nqobile Nunu K.H. is great too, bringing the trapped in this world figure to life. Showing us how she can’t up and leave because of her commitments in life. Showing us, that she only wants to help her loved one.
The supporting cast is strong too, with Sandile Mahlangu being disturbing in his behaviour, which escalates as the film unfolds.
The story follows a tourist looking to get to know a local who lives around a tragic massacre. Racial tensions are still high between the two sets of people in the town. While diving into a love story that might tear one of the women’s life apart.
The love story mind well has different motives around it. The bigger focus in the film is on the hatred still surrounding a racial massacre. Showing despite a generation change, people will still hold a race accountable for the massacre, one this person had nothing to do with. It will offer a bigger conversation about what should be done around a tragedy that was only a small group’s behaviour, creating racial hatred to anyone on the other side.
Jewel is a drama set in the small town of Sharpeville the sight of a racial massacre. It has turned into a tourist attraction, where the two races keep their distances. Outside of the memorial, we get beautiful South African countryside, showing the beauty of the country.
Where to Watch: Jewel is available now on Netflix.
Final Thoughts – Jewel is a powerful look at how racial tensions can tear love apart.