Private Project

In The Morning

A young teenage girl is distraught after the loss of her father, as she cannot get to grips with the truth about what really happened to him. There is only one way out for her to find freedom, which is a great risk to her relationships, but to release herself from the pain, she must first confront the wounds of her unhealed trauma.

  • Ntombizodwa Masuku
  • Ntombizodwa Masuku
  • Sinesipo Lubelwana
  • Khany'okuhle Siyobi
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 14, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Language:
    English, Xhosa
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ntombizodwa Masuku

Ntombi grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe. Her love for the entertainment industry began through writing plays all before she was 10 years old. As a shy child, she fell in love with performing in school plays and the stage was where she felt like she was at home. At 18 she performed in an adaption of “Cats” as Jemima and that solidified her decision to pursue a career in the industry. She started writing movie ideas years before and decided to explore her passion more by doing an internship at a media house as an editor. She then moved to South Africa to study at AFDA Cape Town and after being exposed to multiple disciplines in her first year, she felt like film directing was her calling which she has been doing ever since.

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Director Statement

I wanted to make a film that tackles domestic abuse but from the child’s point of view. In this case it is from a teenager. I feel like as much as there are a lot of domestic abuse/violence films, not many have been done from an African standpoint, it’s mainly a Western view and if there are African ones, it is from a view of poverty, implying that only one side of the spectrum faces such issues. I chose it to be from an upper-middle class African family’s frame. I feel that this has not been a topic of interest is because Africans with money generally don’t talk about their problems. They internalise them and act as if nothing is happening at home, parents become good hiders when in public, children become professional liars around their friends. There is no open dialogue around these topics from fear of being perceived like you come from a bad home, not wanting to make your parents look bad and as well as feeling embarrassed that your parents have trouble and you aren’t the perfect family you so long to be. On the parents standpoint, they feel embarrassed that either they are being abused or they are the one abusing, they do not want to be the talk of the town in their social circles, as well as if it’s a prominent family – be a gossip column news headline.

There is a lot of abuse faced in this demographic, mainly from the father to mother but also from the father to child. A lot of it comes from cultural background and what a father learnt as a child that was considered respect, there is a flawed notion on what a family should look like and how treating a man should be. The feeling of being a superior gender becomes a toxic mindset which bleeds into the family dynamics. On the other hand, the mothers are religious and seem to stay because of that. The religious and cultural views jumbled up into one home can prove to lead to destruction as there is no clear cut way of which path to follow, therefore confusing the children and their mindsets and view of marriage and family. A lot of young adults now don’t want to get married because of watching their parents toxic marriages. The thought of bringing a child into such a world seems unfair to them.

The African women is the most discriminated and disrespected women, not just in society but in their own homes and I want this film to bring that out in a new way. That people will learn something from this story that they never knew was even a thing. That it will bring light to toxic mindsets and that it will start a conversation on why this stays secret, on why women find it hard to leave the home and especially on what it does to the children.