All Yesterday’s Children

Just back from seeing a fantastic film. “Yesterday”, the first, long overdue, movie to be filmed in Zulu, tells the story of Yesterday, “named like that by my father. He said things were better yesterday than today”, a woman diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. It’s a spectacular fable, one that never relents in the physical portrayal of the disease, but pays almost-even-handed attention to the social context of AIDS in rural KwaZulu-Natal. In moments, notably the discussion in which village women debate whether to let their children play near Yesterday’s deeply ill HIV+ husband, are moments of triumph, even as they show the triumph of ignorance over compassion. And Lihle Mvelase’s portrayal of Yesterday’s daughter deserves far wider recognition than she’s ever likely to receive. Go see.