Wheels and Deals

Director: Michael Hammon
Countries: South Africa
Year: 1991
Running Time: 96 min.
Language: English


Released in 1995, this gritty piece of realist drama is also a story of love in a time of dramatic change and possibility in South Africa. Its moody ‘black-and-white’ visuals capture the aura of the era, making this film a truly memorable portrait of life in Soweto during that time. Alsina, an articled clerk in a local law firm, becomes entangled dramatically with all these. She helps Chippa, a shop steward, in a factory strike and guides negotiations with the management. She also steps in, when longtime rent-paying tenants are served with eviction orders. Alsina and Chippa hatch a plan to connect an anti-eviction campaign with an anti-election campaign after it becomes obvious one of the mayoral candidates, Shabantu, is behind the evictions. Alsina allows herself to be wooed by the smooth-talking BT, who has a new set of wheels each time they meet. When Alsina accepts his offer to arrange an affordable car for her, she becomes unwittingly connected to car theft. When it transpires that Shabantu runs the car-theft operation too – the circle dramatically closes.