The Swenkas (2004)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Beauty & Fashion, Biography, Sociology  |   Release Date - Nov 9, 2005 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - Denmark, South Africa  |  
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In South Africa, when the country was still in the grip of apartheid, men from the nation's rural areas often journeyed to the cities in search of work. Hoping to impress the families they left behind, the men would often buy stylish new suits for their visits back home, and practice looking slick for their friends and neighbors. Over time, this behavior evolved into a practice called "swenking," in which working-class South Africans would meet on a regular basis for competitions in which they would see who could put together the best-looking outfit, and who knew how to move best in it. Swenking is a hobby that still exists today in South Africa, and The Swenkas is a documentary which looks at both the past and present of this curious blend of fashion and sport, as filmmaker Jeppe Ronde explores the history of swenking as well as profiling the son of the leader of a group of swenkas who is contemplating joining in the place of his late father.

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Keywords

contest, fashion-show, hobby, pride, prize, retrospective, South-Africa, suit, working-class, Zulu