Writing of spelonk have been inspired by many elements for myself (Desmond Denton). From a big love for history, folklore, creating South African films that can bridge our borders.... all these elements and yet one key component has been driving it all along.
In all honesty I will admit that a large part of writing Spelonk came from having my first daughter, Katelyn. It has been an incredible journey this far and I feel like I am learning so much about myself, the world world and finding big truths with her in the middle of ordinary moments. I have been fortunate to travel with her to countries such as USA and, Istanbul and first hand experience how the world came alive to her. As I am a writer, director and storyteller, I ask myself what story do I tell little Katelyn about the world she grows up in. What hope do I grow in her heart?
In a way Spelonk has become my personal question- of what world little Katelyn will grow up in, what world we leave behind in a way. It is a journey of hope and yet sometimes fear.
Dealing within a context of South Africa where there is a strong dual view - Firstly looking at the country with what it has accomplished, the rainbow nation, filled with potential, talent, creativity, with hope. A place where people have found ways to get together beyond our differences, to build a new nation. I grew up seeing the miracle, the change of Apartheid to the rainbow nation and stood up together as we triumphed over many obstacles. I am personally very proud of so many things we can boast with as a country.
Yet in the same breath one can't ignore the current reality which often overshadows this hope. While many emigrate away from South Africa whether due to economical of safety reasons- I believe we should look at both sides of the coin. In this country of hope, I often find myself in thought regarding what we can do to change the situation. We find high levels of corruption, murder rates unseen in any other country, babies being raped by various men and left for dead, hate speech flaring up all over and people divided... The rainbow nation becomes a chess board of black and white, and the magic of the rainbow nation seems to fade. All this happens while top level politicians often merely laugh when addressed about matters of importance.
Clearly, humans are a force of nature, but unlike any other natural disaster, we are not only the cause of so much destruction, we participate in it (whether directly involved, or passively watching). The film in itself is an act of awareness, of our impact on nature, each other and bringing about the question of what future are we shaping, or passively watching as it is shaped by others. The film brings about the best of an post apocalyptic action film with a tale of caution to society, a testament to people who care about future generations.
Spelonk allows us to research, investigate the unique setting of South Africa and Cape town, yet with very real concerns.
"Our apocalypse is not caused by the "what if’s, its caused by the "what if we don't’s "