In Sight

In post-apocalyptic future Cape Town, a jaded, desperate sex worker, Annika, encounters the blind homeless Lisolethu, whose innocence erupts her plan of self-satisfaction to be a revelation of the deeper void to be fulfilled.

  • Ying Zhang
  • Ying Zhang
  • Yolisa Letshwene
  • Berenice Barbier
    Key Cast
  • Thapelo Maropefela
    Key Cast
  • Ako Matakata
    Key Cast
  • Moleboheng Selekane
    Key Cast
    "Mama Lu"
  • Rebecca Patrick
    Key Cast
    "Annika's mother"
  • Richard Watson
  • Nicholas Rubenstein
  • Francois Louis Nel
    Production designer
  • Marc Petrilis
    Costume, Makeup and Styling
  • Antony Rangel Coll
  • Zaid Abarder
    Visual Effects
  • Joshua Goldman
    Sound designers
  • Reece Coetzer
    Sound designers
  • Likhona Camane
  • Simon de Beer
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 18, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    473 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ying Zhang

“Cinema uses your life, not vice versa.” Ying Zhang, the 22-year-old, Chinese-born filmmaker, consciously takes the practice from Andrei Tarkovsky as a director since late childhood. Zhang has travelled to different cities and taken in different ways of life, which have informed her artistic approach. She regards human experience as a key subject of reflection and attempts to link the individual to the web of collectives around us.

Zhang uses her art to navigate the nature of subjectivity and objectivity and scrutinises the current societal “standards” and suggests another possibilities through an equal and honest conversation from different perspectives. She has created a number of experimental and narrative films that explore these concepts, such as Distance (2016), Dembe (2018), The Rabbit (2018), Cleansing (2019) and so on.

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Director Statement

In Sight advocates for gender neutrality within exploitation including rape and for non-biased discourse towards the outcasts, including the disabled, the homeless, the sex workers.

"Gender neutrality within rape reflects modern understandings of the nature, effects, and dynamics of non-consensual penetrative sex acts, and is an evidence-led means of appropriately labelling criminal conduct". Scholars have criticized traditional rape laws for only proscribing penile-vaginal intercourse. Over the years, researchers have supported their argument by finding out that firstly the risk of pregnancy is not of overriding significance among the effects of rape which includes different forms of penetration. Secondly, the construction of the notion of consent pushes to a more modern rape law. Thirdly, rape is lack of recognition in the LGBTQ community, any more. The recognition of male victimization helps deconstruct the toxic hegemonic heterosexuality. All acts of forced sex to any person is a violation of the personal, private inner space, an injury to mind, spirit and sense of self, and the victims all deserve to be treated in the eyes of the law.

This is the reason this film parallels rape with colonization, and trauma with post-colonist anxiety. The film is against idolized motherhood which represents corrupted authority, and it indicates that a possible solution is to build an identity that is not influenced by pre-existed dichotomy. It reveals the depression of both the penetrator and the victim, and suggests that both sides have to embrace the fact and embody the self, in order to put down defence mechanisms and transform. It is time to "move beyond models of oppression" and explore the possibility of constructing a structure within the "third space" which allows the process of cultural hybridity, and "gives rise to something different, something new and unrecognizable, a new area of negotiation of meaning and representation" (Rutherford, 1998).

Rutherford, J., 1998. Identity. London: Lawrence and Wishart, p.211.