Songs of the Adventurers

Music of migrant workers. On the mines of South Africa, migrant workers from Lesotho compose powerful autobiographical poems about their lives in the mining industry and at home in Lesotho.

directed by: Gei Zantzinger
produced by: Gei Zantzinger
(1988) 48 minutes
47 min

On the mines of South Africa, migrant workers from Lesotho compose powerful autobiographical poems about their lives in the mining industry and at home in Lesotho. Their compositions serve to maintain a sense of cultural identity and individual worth amid the dehumanizing experiences of labor migrancy.

Based upon the research of David Coplan, Songs of the Adventurers presents performances of song-poems, called difela, within the context of the social and political situation under apartheid. Short historical and analytical sections provide insights into the development of this relatively recent oral form.

Finalist: American Film Festival
Finalist: Anthropos 1987, Barbara Myerhoff Film Festival,
Margaret Mead Film Festival