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ANGELS IN THE DUST
USA: Cinema Libre Studio
Cast: Marion Cloete
Director: Louise Hogarth
Country: South Africa
USA: 95 mins
USA Release Date: 14 September 2007 (Limited Release - New York)
ANGELS IN THE DUST is the inspiring story of a university-trained therapist, Marion Cloete, who along with her husband and two daughters courageously left her privileged life in a wealthy Johannesburg suburb to establish Boikarabelo (formerly Botshabelo), an extraordinary village and school that provide shelter, food, and education to more than 550 South African children.
The tale of Marion and the orphans she cares for is echoed in a dramatic parallel saga of the orphaned elephants of Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa. The established government practice of culling and killing adult elephants to control herd sizes that has torn apart the complex social fabric of elephant culture is a similar scenario to that of a traditionally close-knit African village. As a result, orphaned elephants grew up exhibiting unusually violent behavior, but now elder elephants have recently been introduced into the Pilanesberg population to re-socialise the young. The experiment is working and it offers a resonant reflection of the healing taking place for the human children being "re-parented" by Marion at Boikarabelo (formerly Botshabelo).
ANGELS IN THE DUST is the story of a courageous, self-sacrificing, fiercely loving woman who chooses a spiritual path over a material one; it tells of the life-changing power of one compassionate heart. For a nation overwhelmed by an epidemic of HIV/AIDS, orphans, rape, violence, and Apartheid's legacy of social and political unrest, the film offers a clear pathway of hope and a replicable paradigm for the future.