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‘This is National Wake’ premiere Feb. 9 presented by SIFF


‘This is National Wake’ traces the wild rise of a multiracial South African rock band, dubbed "the band that defied apartheid," whose members risked everything to taste freedom. (Courtesy/ SIFF)

‘This is National Wake’ traces the wild rise of a multiracial South African rock band, dubbed "the band that defied apartheid," whose members risked everything to taste freedom. (Courtesy/ SIFF)


Originally Published: February 7, 2024 11:32 a.m.

The Sedona International Film Festival presents the Northern Arizona premiere of ‘This is National Wake’ showing on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

Featuring local resident Vusi Shibambo, ‘This is National Wake’ traces the wild rise of a multiracial South African rock band, dubbed "the band that defied apartheid," whose members risked everything to taste freedom.

In 1979, South Africa’s apartheid regime kept blacks and whites separate and unequal. But three young men — Ivan Kadey, a white guitarist from Johannesburg’s Jewish side, and Gary and Punka Khoza, two Black Shangaan brothers from Soweto — dared to launch National Wake.

In a time and place where it was illegal for these young musicians to play or live together, their band and its fans fought back with music. They smashed every law to rebel — and were documented with remarkable foresight and nerve, by this film's co-producer Nadine Kadey and cinematographer Robin Muir, in astonishing Super 8.

‘This is National Wake’ is a dreamlike immersion into a utopian journey, whose lasting lessons about imagining an anti-racist world resound as loudly today as this historic band’s rollicking sound.

A Q&A will follow this premiere screening with Sedona's own Vusi Shibambo, National Wake's Ivan Kadey, and Co-Producer Nadine Kadey, plus a special live music set with Ivan and Vusi.

Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members. For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit SedonaFilmFestival.org.