What is it about some filmmakers that makes one turn one's head and listen? It must be a sense of individuality that places freedom above all else, after all is this not the core of creative expression.

feb-artist
Pule Diphare
Pule Diphare is a documentary filmmaker that one takes note of. Asked how he would describe his creative philosophy, Diphare responds: "I simply put a mirror up to society's time and let it reflect. My works are meditative and indulge in self-reflection. That's what modern society needs - reflection and not judgments and condemnation. Interestingly, I learned that people are more capable of self-evaluation than I thought. They want to be approached soberly and maturely. They are intelligent so I cannot be prescriptive. That's what forms the basis of social debate. I merely provoke discourse."

Diphare's work titled, Beautiful Works, is a slate of films inspired by President Zuma's speech about art being a cornerstone of debate in society. The films include Harvest of Kruger, Fall of the Tomb, That Girl is White, Sisters in Wonderland.

"They are really stand-alones; that is why I refer to them as a slate and not a series. They are four unrelated works. They only share my style and technique and of course my 'new society' theme. I am detached and subversive in both my content and form. Someone's got to do it, open little windows and tear down the walls. My half-hour shorts are finally seeing the light of day."

Diphare says it is crucial to be determined. "It takes patience and resilience to make films. My Beautiful Works could easily be deemed retrospective because they have been a long time in the making. The timing is right and the subject more relevant now. I am really excited to get them out there."

He explains his working process: "I only used a full script once in my work, with my documentary piece, Strijdom is very very Dead. Even with that, I experimented with my editor, Lisba Vosloo. We played and had fun. My works look serious but I think filmmaking is a way of life and so I like to have a 'jol' despite the hard subject matter. So yes, I do script. I first get the idea, then the title and I build my vision around this. I use a Sony PD camera. I shoot mostly alone as I like to exercise my point of view."

Diphare also edits his own work. "It is said that a filmmaker who does not edit his works allows for him or herself to be translated into a foreign language. Who said that? Ahh, Cocteau. After I've done an off-line, I give it to an on-line and final mix editor."

Asked what he wants an audience to get out of his films, Diphare responds: "I can't prescribe. I am not a teacher or a preacher. I offer no solutions. I just lay the matter bare. I am on the fence. I am not a propagandist."

He maintains that art is a hard task master. "The damned art found me and made me what I am. With regard to the future of the local industry, we do not have a film industry. We have a film charity, a welfare operation. Where in this country do we buy and sell films? I am no longer concerned about intellectual property and everything else. I want to craft and create more beautiful works. I now care more about my art and my god-given talent. I also think South African filmmakers are not courageous, not all of them of course, but the majority. Always wanting to be politically correct and ruled by fear. That is why our films are steeped in celebration, heroic films."

Diphare concludes: "The whole thing is imaginary. We need critical and provocative works. Remember the furor my other work Dance on the Graves caused? I was attacked by my own people for showing their dark side, catwalk funerals. Why can't such films be made? Who can stop me? I am not breaking the law but just observing. That is why I am a filmmaker. There are no holy cows on the path of a film artist, black or white...whatever."