A South African Romeo and Juliet : gender identity in Minky Schlesinger’s Gugu and Andile

02 Jul 2018

This article examines how gender identity is represented in a filmic adaptation of Shakespeare’s play text Romeo and Juliet within South Africa’s postcolonial context, thereby positioning identity politics as crucial in the decolonial project. This article focuses on Minky Schlesinger’s South African adaptation of Romeo and Juliet titled Gugu and Andile (2009). Schlesinger’s film is compared to Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet (1968) and Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996) to comparatively contextualise and sharpen an analysis of gender identity in Schlesinger’s film. In our analysis of the selected films we examine the mise-en-scène in each film to establish how the films comment on, subvert or maintain certain gender identities.