Zonk!

South African all-black musical feature.

directed by: Hyman Kiersten
produced by: Ike Brooks Baruch
(1950) 58 minutes
60 min

Musical Director: Charles Berman
With Sylvester Phahlane, Laura Gabashane, Fiver Kelly, Sam Maile, The Manhattan Stars, Richard Majola

Following up on the success of African Jim, but with higher production values, Zonk! shows the extraordinary cultural range available to township Africans, from the many ethnic strains of music from South Africa itself to contemporary American jazz and popular music, eagerly copied and Africanized.

Zonk! confirms that despite the poverty and degradation of township life, the human spirit could triumph through music, producing groups and individual performers of astonishing sophistication and polish, many of them closely modeled on African-American performers.