A chat with the makers of the Apartheid South Africa film 'Five Fingers for Marseilles'

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Apartheid South Africa: The community of Railway, attached to the remote town of Marseilles, is the victim of brutal police oppression, and only a group of rebellious friends known as the 'Five Fingers' are willing to take a stand. Their battle is heartfelt but innocent, until hot-headed Tau kills two policemen in an act of passion.   He flees, leaving his brothers and friends behind, but his action has triggered a violent fight that will leave both Marseilles and the Five Fingers changed.

Twenty years later, Tau is released from prison, and is now a feared and brutal 'outlaw'. But scarred and empty, he renounces violence and returns to Marseilles desiring only peace and to reconnect with those he left behind.

At first, Tau finds Marseilles a town seemingly at peace. The battle for freedom was won, and now the grown Five Fingers are in prominent positions – as mayor, police chief and pastor of the old church. But, when he reconnects with childhood love, Lerato, now proprietress of the local tavern, and her fiery son, Sizwe, it becomes clear that rather than the haven he hoped for is caught in the grip of a vicious new threat. To Tau’s dismay, his old allies themselves may have allowed it in. Tau can keep his head down only so long. When he and his loved ones become direct targets, he is reluctantly compelled to fight once and for all.

Standing against old allies and new enemies alike, the Five Fingers must put their lives at the greatest risk for the sake of Marseilles.

About the filmmakers:

Directing technically complex productions under pressure, has earned Michael Matthews a reputation for executing ambitious projects. He has a strong focus on emotive, visual storytelling, and his work has been nominated and won awards both locally and internationally. Michael co-founded Be Phat Motel Film Company in 2007 with the aim to develop and produce progressive cinema, and has seen a number of projects into international development.

In this period Michael has also made award-winning commercials, short films and music videos, working with worldwide brands and artists. Michael’s half hour film, Sweetheart (2011), screened at festivals in South Africa, Poland, Russia, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Singapore, Costa Rica and the USA.

Sweetheart’s international interest led him to meetings with agents and studios including Fox, Warner Brothers and WME. In 2014 Michael directed the eight part web series, Ashbeclee. The comedy-drama is in the tone of HBO Girls, but set in Perth Australia. Focused on three female lead characters dealing with quarter life crises and first world problems, it gained over 190,000 episode views. Michael is currently in development on a feature adaptation of Charlie Human’s acclaimed novel Apocalypse Now Now.

With a history in stage & performance, Sean Drummond's visual sensitivity to pace, tone and character serve him as a complex screenwriter for his own Be Phat Motel Film Company and for the South African, and international markets, as a creative and conceptual producer and as an intuitive documentary director. His shorts Sweetheart and Wide Open and feature documentaries Lost Prophets and Outsider have screened extensively at festivals around the world.

Sean is the founding manager of the Cape Town chapter of the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival, celebrating, promoting and awarding South African and international short films yearly, and he sits on the festival’s international executive committee, pushing artistic collaboration and exchange between filmmakers from cultures all around the world.

He continues to sit on Cape Town’s festival board. He has hosted panels on finance, co-production and distribution at international markets and has served on the Writers' Guild of South Africa's executive council. Sean hosts science, tech and sci-spec podcast Space Life and Other Dumb Ideas. He’d like to go to space.

Image Copyright: Be Phat Motel Film Company. Used with permission.



For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.