EIFF Review: Walk With Angels

Jerry walking the streets

Children routinely go missing in South Africa. About one every five hours on average according to official statistics, but the true picture is likely to be much worse. This can be for many reasons. They may have run away from home, fleeing violence or something worse, or been kicked out for one reason or another. Abductions are also common, for child trafficking or prostitution. The very young are sometimes taken to be sacrificed in ritualistic murders. Their purity used by witch doctors for added ‘potency’.

Jerry is a former child soldier for the military arm of the ANC who, after an accident, decided to dedicate his life to finding these ‘lost’ boy and girls. He’s on a mission. To locate a baby who was taken from Soweto. Like many others, it was stolen from the poverty riddled neighbourhood of Kliptown. Walk with Angels, the new film from Tomasz Wysokinski, follows him as he takes to the streets driven, by his quest to reunite mother and daughter.

Walk with Angels is a powerful and disturbing film which takes the viewer into the heart of darkness left by the legacy of the Apartheid regime. South Africa is a relatively affluent country and yet the level of poverty and lawlessness is frightening. As Jerry scours the locality, danger lurks round every corner. Hiding in the shadows or in clear and present sight. Walk with Angels as a sobering and potent piece of documentary filmmaking.

Walk With Angels screens at Edinburgh International Film Festival.

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