From classics to Netflix originals, and everything in between; here are some great South African movies and series to stream on Netflix.
In recent times, we can’t deny Netflix has shown a huge interest in the continent. Although, South Africa was the first African country “gifted” by the streaming giant. They recorded their first Netflix original series; Shadow, in 2019. Meanwhile, Netflix announced it would be renewing the series, Queen Sono, for a second season after the success of its first one, which premiered in January.
While we enjoy these Netflix Originals, some classic South African shows and movies are now also available on the platform. Here are 10 South African movies and series (old and new), that we recommend you stream on Netflix.
Queen Sono (2020)
Queen Sono, is an action-packed series that follows the life of a highly trained top spy in a South African agency. Her sole objective is to better the lives of African citizens. While taking on her most dangerous mission yet, she must also face challenging relationships in her personal life. Queen Sono digs into a violent South Africa past; although, it doesn’t dwell on it. Instead, opting to look at history’s effects on society today.
Baby Mamas (2018)
This 2018 hit South African comedic movie, shows the roller coaster of emotions four women friends go through. It shows how they maneuver their way around motherhood, their social lives, and romantic relationships. While each of these four friends in question comes from different demographics of South Africa, they face both unique and common challenges. Baby Mamas is another movie that portrays the middle-class life of blacks in South Africa.
Tjovitjo (2017 – 2018)
Using Isipantsula (pantsula dance) as an entry point, the series looks at the ills South Africans living in the township. While they have to endure poverty, gender-based violence, and government incompetence, the series shines a light on them. among others. The series also shines the light on a dance style and the lifestyle it comes with it. While still giving an insight into what it means to young people in the townships.
This action and crime thriller series follow the story of a South African superhero. A South African superhero that’s likened to Luke Cage. He decides to quit his job to fight crime in Joburg’s underworld and hunt down his daughter’s murderer. Protagonist Shadrach “Shadow” Khumalo is invulnerable to pain; although, a trait that comes in handy in this movie.
Intersexions (2010 – 2013)
One of the finest drama series to ever come out of South Africa, the show follows the lives of different young South Africans. It shows how they navigate relationships and sex and represented the spread of HIV among young people. While the show is very educational, it doesn’t feel like an educational show at all. Although it portrays the lives of South Africans, it does without hiding or sugar-coating any aspect of it.
Hopeville, an optimistic take on South African society. To support the swimming aspirations of his son, an estranged father attempts to restore a public pool. While trying to do that, he meets opposition from the community. Starring veteran actor Themba Ndaba and then-emerging and young Junior Singo, the cast was star-studded. It features known names like Desmond Dube, Jonathan Pienaar Terry Pheto, and Mary Twala. The series explores the theme of the father-son relationship. Although uncomfortable, heart-warming; Just like life itself.
This South African classic movie portraying crime is still relevant to this day. It really has stood the test of time. Although a movie ahead of its time, it traced how Tsotsi; a criminal showed both his humane and animal side.
Four Corners (2014)
Four Corners follows the life of a newly released ex-con in the Cape Flats as he triggers a gang war while seeking revenge. This conflict affects a young chess genius and those around him. While it offers a glimpse into the crisis of gang culture in the Cape Flats, it also shines the light on members of the community. Members who do their best to protect young boys from gang activities and improve them where possible .
A businesswoman decides to continue the investigation into her sister’s murder. A mining conspiracy that her own boss may be a part of in this 2018 drama. Although the film is focused thematically, it offers easy viewing as it doesn’t have any complicated storylines. The South African film touches on land reform; an infinite and burning topic in South Africa.
Catching Feelings (2017)
The 2017 comedy film stars Pearl Thusi and Kagiso Lediga. While it portrays the life of an author who has fallen from grace, it does in a comical way. His insecurities come to the light when an older author who has excelled, is introduced into his life. Catching Feelings gives a look into the life of Joburg’s black middle class, meanwhile not taking itself as seriously as previous films that have explored the same theme.