Following the whirlwind success of their previous music documentary, Future Sound Of Mzansi, filmmakers Lebogang Rasethaba and Nthato Mokgata team up again to direct MUTANT, an intimate documentary portrait film featuring Isaac Mutant, a controversial and outspoken rapper from the Cape Flats. The film was an exhaustive collaboration between the filmmakers and Cape Town born photographer, filmmaker and artist Imraan Christian, who was instrumental in developing the thoughtful visual style of the film. Sifiso Khanyile brought his extensive knowledge of the local film industry as well as the international markets. The film took 6 years to complete, which allows audiences to witness Isaac’s character evolve on screen, from being a militant and agitated aggressor to a man in pursuit of a greater peace.
As well as being an intimate portrait of Isaac Mutant, the film delves into questions of heritage, race and identity, while being an impassioned ode to the power of Hip-Hop music to communicate messages. Lebogang Rasethaba says, “South Africa is a country where race debates dominate the headlines every other week and for the filmmakers we felt it was important to bring attention and awareness to this particular conversation that is often overlooked, and to bring to the conversation a spirit of empathy, considering who we are, our backgrounds, our positionality. We aren’t interested in making films that will spark debate and generate outrage, we want to make films that will prioritize compassion. We realize the power of film as a tool that affords certain ideas dignity, we understand that films can provide much needed impetus to the project of humanity.”
After his first viewing of the film, the documentary subject, Isaac Mutant says that the film captures all the ideas he has been trying to put out to the world his whole life. The film plays out like a playlist where we hear a song from Isaac’s discography; and then the song, and the social or personal issue it touches on, is unpacked through candid interviews with Isaac. The film also interviews a wide range of voices from Isaac’s family, to childhood friends, musicians, to activists and sociologists who expand on some of the broader social issues. The film features outspoken figures of Western Cape Hip-Hop such as YoungstaCPT, Mr Griep, DJ Roach, Spooky, EJ Von Lyric, Lee Ursus, and Dope St Jude.
The film will premiere at Encounters Film Festival on Friday 18th June. A pay per view link will be available via the Mutant documentary Instagram page.
Director: Lebogang Rasethaba and Nthato Mokgata
Genre: Documentary/Biography/Social Justice
Length: 66 mins
Language: English and Afrikaans (with subtitles)
Financer: National Film and Video Foundation
Composer: Dookoom and Nthato Mokgata
Production Company: Arcade
Associate Producers: Anaphora Films
Associate Producers: Teka Films
N° days shooting: 4 Weeks
N° weeks editing: 24 Weeks