This Documentary Celebrates South Africa’s Burgeoning Black Punk And Metal Scene

Black Black Metal documents a small but enthusiastic community in Soweto.

October 06, 2016

Afropunk points to a new short documentary, Black Black Metal, released earlier this year, that tells the story of a small, but growing, black punk and metal scene in the historic Johannesburg township of Soweto.


"In South Africa, rock music is massive, but limited to almost exclusively white communities," the film's opening credits tell us. "In Soweto – a microscopic punk and metal scene is emerging, demolishing some long-held cultural stereotypes."

Directed by filmmaker Wim Steytler, the seven-minute doc follows around skate kids and members of bands like Reeburth and Demogoroth Satanum, pairing footage of noisy garage and basement shows with audio from interviews.

In a lot of ways, the scene looks like any other: it's small and self-contained, enthusiastic, and fueled by a strong sense of otherness. Kids namecheck Sabbath and Cerebral Ballzy, defining their tastes in contrast to the area's substantially more popular house and hip-hop scenes.

As one of the interviewees puts it: “Whatever they do is out of passion, they’re not doing it [because of] the latest trend or whatever. Basically, it’s something that’s in their fucking blood.”