Scenes From a Dry City


04.10 – 17:30

South Africa/USA , 2018
Documentary, 13
English, VOSE

Directors: François Verster y Simon Wood  

Cinematography: Simon Wood y François Verster (C) 

Editing: Khalid Shamis 

Sound: François Verster y Simon Wood 

Sound Design: Stef Albertyn 

Executive producers: Charlotte Cook y Laura Poitras 

Production: Simon Wood para SaltPeter Productions 


Recipient of the World Press Photo 2020 ‘Online Video of the Year’ SCENES FROM A DRY CITY uses the lens of water to explore societal dynamics during Cape Town South Africa’s water crisis. Juxtaposing vignettes in different areas of the city, the film examines how the climate crisis and the scarcity of humans most precious resource causes cracks in the city’s complex social fabric. Co-directed by Francois Verster and Simon Wood, SCENES FROM A DRY CITY was produced by Academy Award Winner Laura Poitras and Charlotte Cooke at Field of Vision.  

In 13 minutes, SCENES FROM A DRY CITY looks at the water crisis from different perspectives: illegal car washers, demonstrators against water privatization, Christians in a mass service praying for rain, or golfers on a lush green course. These scenes are interspersed with shots of the effects of drought on the reservoir, and the canals and drains that carry an ever-decreasing trickle of water. The camerawork and drone shots are stunning. Presented without commentary, the film gives an impression not only of the water crisis, but also of the racial inequality and income disparity in South African society.