Disturbing piece of film depicting three air hostesses visiting a native village in South Africa.
Mapoch Village, South Africa.
A plane has just arrived at the Jan Smits Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. People leave the plane. Air hostesses are standing on the stairs waving and smiling. One of the air hostesses is seen helping an elderly lady down the stairs. After passengers are left, air hostesses are free to do a bit of a sightseeing. They have arranged to visit a native village of Mapoch.
Mapoch inhabitants are descendants of the Bantu tribes. Traditionally, women take care of the village and men take care of the cattle. Men spend most of the time in fields watching the livestock so they are not present. Women, most with children in their arms, line up against very unusual walls covered in murals. These walls are everywhere around. They are the village fences and gates. Houses (huts) are behind them. Amazing shapes and colours. The murals on the walls look extremely imaginative and colourful. People are not afraid of colours.
Women's positions and their movements are obviously orchestrated by the film crew. Most of them are lined up - ready for inspection. Mini arrives and the three air hostess in uniforms and gloves get out. Women look at the natives as if they are museum exhibits. They even touch them and make comments as if they are not alive at all. The obvious racial attitudes of the 50's are nothing new but it is still terribly disturbing to watch it.
South African women wear traditional costumes, ethnic jewellery and they are hairless. Very impressive are golden rings around their legs, arms and necks. Number of the rings increases as the women grow older. Women have spread their handwork for air hostess to admire. Each air hostess receives a gift - beaded jewellery piece which they wear around the neck and one shoulder. Several shots of the air hostess examining women, their works, children... Air hostesses take a few photographs, walk around a little, and finally leave. Native women wave as they drive off.