World Premiere at the 11th Global Nonviolent Film Festival

By Will Espero

Director Jonathan Pienaar from South Africa creates a musical short film featuring non-stop dancers and musicians. The spirit of Flamenco is highlighted with other various musical tastes as artists perform, sing, and move with energy, excitement, and passion. Kuele is an entertaining, vibrant portrayal of emotional artistry and cultural poetry. An empty building is the setting of this melodic delight.

Director Jonathan Pienaar

Jonathan Pienaar is living legend of theatre and film in South Africa. His illustrious career in theatre spanned many genre over many years, appearing in one man shows, stand-up comedy, Shakespeare, dramas, musicals, writing music, lyrics and plays for many theatre productions, most recently touring Kuele by FlamenKhoi and La Familia Flamenca.

Jonathan Pienaar took to the screen in 1984 and is a household name in TV productions as well as a national and international movie star, appearing in films such as Skin, Dollars and White Pipes, Venus Noire, Blood Diamond, Lord Jones is Dead, etc. He is currently appearing in Warrior on Cinemax, Troy Fall of a City on Netflix and Deutschland 86 on Channel 4 and Sundance television.

Jonathan has performed alongside Sidney Poitier, Tim Curry, Michael Caine, F. Murray Abraham, Sean Bean, Jennifer Connelly and Leonardo Di Caprio, to name some. He has also starred in NBC’s series Crusoe. Basically, Johnny has a love for what he does as an actor, voice over artist and director. He has a deep respect for all he encounters. He lives with wolves in South Africa and travels the world with deep gratitude for his craft.

The Khoi San are the first people. Roma or travelers are a mystery. Both are nomads.

I first encountered the Khoi San in 1981, in Namibia and then Angola. The wisdom and beauty of the San remained in my bones. Always laughing and expressing, in a dance of unplanned, spontaneous healing. The Roma, I encountered in 2000. Later, I began learning Flamenco. On a trip to India, I met the mysterious and talented Rosana Maya. Incomparable soul of creation. We danced together in the show Caminando as one spirit. 

Later when we were in the Kalahari, Rosana was introduced to ‘the San’. I brought up, that, Romani and San had the same earth beat in dance. 

Pinky !Xu Ramagole and Uncle Paul Mashiane and Rosana Maya, recognizing the sameness of all music and dance, completed the first time ever Fusion of Flamenco and San dance. Kuele. 

Crossing into an industrial city environment breathing the earth, wind, fire and rain, I chose a ritual of universal peace to join with the dust of humanity, at this time of human and environmental change. Dancing in the dust. Whether in the desert or city, We Dance! 

Jonathan Pienaar

Kuele is an Official Selection at the 2022 edition of the Global Nonviolent Film Festival, and it can be watched from September 29 to October 10 on globalnonviolentfilmfestival.comD!