In the changing political climate of South Africa a revolution is taking place as artists, musicians and designers tackle issues of politics, race and history. This newest film by director Petter Ringbom follows some of the most recognized artists in South Africa today, exploring what it means to live and work in the new democracy. Artist Brett Murray’s painted caricature of South African president Jacob Zuma results in a lawsuit and death threats. Photographer and activist Zanele Muholi’s work exposes hate crimes in the LGBT community. The Smarteez design collective creates international styles while running a free after-school program for kids. Musician Xander Ferreira of Gazelle parades on stage as a character based on an archetypal African dictator. Shield and Spear presents intimate stories about the artists, art, music, identity, race and freedom of expression in South Africa 20 years into democracy.
Heather Haynes, Hot Docs

Shield and Spear features the contemporary South African artists and musicians; Brett Murray, BLK JKS, Zanele Muholi, Gazelle, The Brother Moves On, Yolanda Fyrus, Fokofpolisiekar, and The Smarteez. The film also has appearances by Ferial Haffajee, DJ Invizable, Motel Mari, Lloyd Gedye, Atiyyah Khan, Milisuthando Bongela, Iman Rappetti, and Charl Blignaut.

Directed by Petter Ringbom, produced by Alysa Nahmias, executive produced by Marquise Stillwell and Christophe Charlier, this feature documentary had its world premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs, European premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest, African premiere at Durban International Film Festival and U.S. premiere at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Sound + Vision.