Earlier today I interviewed the Western Cape co-ordinator of the Right 2 Know Campaign, Nkwame Cedile, and the owner of the Labia Theatre, Ludi Kraus about the cancellation of the screening of Roadmap to Aparheid. Below the soundclip is the story on this.
The owner of the Labia Theatre said he was not prepared to please the minority of his clientele and risk losing the majority by screening the Roadmap to Apartheid documentary, a film about human rights abuses by Israelis of Palestinians. The theatre has once again cancelled a scheduled screening meant to take place on Thursday after apparently receiving hundreds of responses from patrons who were not in favour of the film.
Furthermore, the South African Zionist Federation said they were not willing to engage with the Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG) in a debate after the screening. Labia Theatre owner, Ludi Kraus, said the film was biased and he could not have a one-sided public participation process.
The PSG initially requested the Labia to screen the film, and after the screening was cancelled in March, the Right 2 Know Campaign had to “broker peace” between the two, which led to the agreement to have the next showing on Thursday.
“We got hundreds of emails in support of us not showing the film and maybe four or five ‘against’,” said Kraus. “I am relying on my patrons to keep the Labia going and I cannot upset them. I can’t afford to lose 99 % of my patrons to please 1 %.”
Not even the threat of protest action from the R2K Campaign and the PSG – with whom the Labia was meant to host the screening in partnership with – was going to make Kraus backtrack on his decision.
“I run an independent business and I have the right to choose what to show and what not to show. I am totally reliant on income from our patrons,” he said.
Meanwhile, the R2K Campaign has called on Capetonians to descend on the Labia in their droves on Thursday from 5pm to protest the theatre’s decision to cancel the screening.
“The Labia is risking losing its reputation within the eyes of the civil society because it is the only independent and progressive theatre around the city, and if you take a stance like this it is tragic in the eyes of civil society,” said the R2K Campaign’s Western Cape co-ordinator, Nkwame Cedile.
“We invite Capetonians to go out in large numbers in solidarity with the people of Palestine and oppose the reactionary stance that the Labia has taken,” he added. VOC (Faatimah Hendricks)