Necktie Youth

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    Necktie Youth

    Directed by

    South Africa, Netherlands


    86 min

    • English
    • Zulu
    • Afrikaans


    Shot in black and white, Shongwe-­La Mer’s films is a tale of disaffected youth, bad drugs, bravado and suicide, set amongst the leafy suburbs of middle class Johannesburg. It's one year after the death of Jabz's friend Emily who mysteriously live streamed her own suicide on the internet. While a documentary crew tries to make sense of her death, Jabz and others who knew Emily are desperate to forget. Jabz and September float through the city in a borrowed Jaguar, mouthing off about race, politics and bizarre sexual encounters. A series of seemingly random events, from shoplifting pharmaceuticals to picking a fight in a liquor store, to a disturbing visit to their cross-dressing drug dealer, eventually leads them to the home (and the arms) of beautiful bikini-clad Jewish twins, Tali and Rafi. Expensive wine is opened and more drugs consumed as the group descends into a child-like euphoric haze. Through it all Jabz and September cling to each other, trying to express the feeling shared by all the kids in the city; a desire for compassion and identity in large doses.


    • Mention (Feature Film International) - Guanajuato IFF
    • Best Director, Best South African Feature Film - Durban IFF



    Bonko Khoza
    Sibs Shongwe-La Mer
    Colleen Balchin
    Kamogelo Moloi
    Emma Tollman
    Jonathan Young
    Kelly Bates
    Ricci-Lee Kalish
    Giovanna Winetzki
    Sibs Shongwe-La Mer
    Chuanne Blofield
    Matthew Swanepoel


    Certainly an eye-opening group portrait, and one that shows a different side of Johannesburg.

    Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

    Twitchingly contemporary, the film responds directly to post-Apartheid South Africa by drawing on the talents of the director and his friends, as they essentially play themselves.

    Thomas Humphrey, Cineuropa

    Sibs Shongwe-La Mer

    Sibs Shongwe-La Mer

    South Africa

    Sibs Shongwe-La Mer is a 22 year-old independent filmmaker, visual artist & writer from Johannesburg, South Africa. His short films have screened at numerous international festivals, gaining recognition from the Venice International Film Festival, TED Talks and the Canadian High Commission. His unfinished feature TERRITORIAL PISSINGS was included in the 70th Venice International Film Festival as a work in progress.