8mm Film of 1950s South Africa
Posted on June 5, 2014
More 8mm films from the 50s. This time from a gentleman who grew up in 1950s South Africa, where his family ran a gold and diamond mine. Mostly shot in black and white but also some in colour, all with captions in French, explaining the footage.
Scenes of weighing and bagging up the gold, him as a young boy trying to lift a small bag of gold, sorting and counting the diamonds, someone being carried through the forest on a litter by the natives, it’s fascinating.
On pay day, one of the natives bangs on a big oil drum with large wooden sticks and the workers come out of the forest to get their pay packets.
Obviously, their nearest neighbours are some distance away. Captions announcing “a visit by the M… Family” appear, usually followed by fun and games at a party. There are shots of him playing Boules with his mother and him ‘throwing a wobbly’ when she beats him.
There are interesting scenes of construction work, river crossings on the somewhat dubious craft and natives bringing in their individual gold hauls for appraisal.
Also seen in this film are flights over the terrain in light aircraft, visits to various townships, traditional native dancing and ceremonies, it is truly fascinating to watch.
It comes to an end with footage back in the United Kingdom in the late 1950s.