Review on Heart of Whiteness


Rehad Desai’s 2005 documentary Heart of Whiteness initially sets out to determine what makes up a South African’s “white identity”. He takes his journey outside his comfort zone of Johannesburg and goes on a road trip across the country. His mission: to find and talk to those white South Africans from small isolated towns like Bethlehem and Orania.

Desai’s initial narration suggests he merely means to gently enquire the identity of white South Africans. However, is made very clear early in the film that he is not objective to the matter. This is heard in his narration about the complex/flats in which he lives. He tells the audience that domestic workers who want to enter the building have to bring their pass er ID in order to get in.

Desai implements a very standard form of documentary. He both narrates and features in the documentary.  The documentary’s footage is composed…

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