Lakutshon’ Ilanga (When The Sun Sets) is one of the most challenging and well-made films on the Live Action Short shortlist this year. With little dialogue, director Phumi Morare informs the audience so much about Apartheid South Africa in 1985. It’s one of the most accomplished films eligible this year.
Lakutshon’ Ilanga (When The Sun Sets) tells the story of a young woman named Lerato, a young, Black nurse trying to keep her family together amid a sea of violence and occupation. Her brother, Anele, is out on the streets fighting back, and they have a younger sister to take care of. When Anele goes missing, Lerato must take her family’s future into her hands. In a remarkably controlled performance, Zikhona Bali gives her character dignity and strength.
In this exclusive chat, Morare and Bali speak with producer Karen Toliver (Oscar winner for the fantastic animated short, Hair Love). Bali expresses how she wanted a challenge and she “couldn’t say no” to the project. Morare goes into detail about writing Miriam Makeba’s song, “When the Sun Sets,” into her script. It could mean so much to so many, and it resonates so much at the end of Morare’s film.