CONCEPT / SYNOPSIS
‘Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies’ ~ Nelson Mandela
‘Saints and Sinners’ is a gripping family drama with female and male protagonists centred on the lives of two families living in the south of Johannesburg. The two families consist of the upwardly mobile Khumalo family, comprising matriarch Mamohato and her two attractive daughters, Phindi and Boni, and further down the tracks, hard-working Lulama and Thabang Moloiswa.
In any society the active practice and application of our freedoms are important – freedom of speech, freedom of choice and freedom to live one’s life in an independent and responsible manner. But often those freedoms are taken for granted resulting in the irresponsible misuse of those gifts. When one allows one’s past to define actions and responses to situations and people we are no longer free but we are prisoners of our past. Nelson Mandela has been quoted as saying: “As I walked out the door to the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew that if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I would still be in prison.” Nelson Mandela understood the power of forgiveness and letting go of the past because this means the past can no longer control us.
Twenty-one years into the democracy of South Africa this drama questions the power of true freedom from one’s past, the freedom of choice and the courage it takes to forgive those who have wronged us. The stories and character journeys in the second season of ‘Saints and Sinners’ depict just this: the desensitisation and hardening of our greater South African society. As harrowing as this may sound, the individual journeys depicted communicate that while living in a fluctuating world, we all have choices to make as individuals – choices that will determine our destinies and happiness. The notion of personal freedom is therefore not romanticised but comes with responsibility and sense of self-worth. Before you can value ‘the other’, you have to value and respect yourself; for in seeing the other you validate the existence of the self. Before you can forgive those who have wronged you, you need to forgive yourself. Before you can love those who love you, you need to love yourself.
The families present two contrasting South African ideals: firstly, those who are driven by the fear of poverty and insignificance and secondly (in contrast to the first group) those who are driven by love and gratitude, understanding that one’s happiness cannot be tied to material possessions or wealth. By the end of the first season it appears that the Khumalo matriarch (Mamohato) has learned that family is more important that ‘keeping up appearances’. She regrets her actions, especially with regards to her children and wants to repair the damage she has caused. But has she truly changed OR will she revert back to status quo?
In season one the Moloiswa matriarch (Lulama) struggled to deal with her son’s death and could not cope with her husband’s complete breakdown after the loss of their only child. At the end of the series the hurt couple started rebuilding their fragile relationship hoping to move on from their great tragedy. But when they are both called upon to forgive and move on, are they able to do so OR are they still trapped in the prison of their hurt and anguish.
Picking up directly from season one, the second series plays out over a period of three months towards the end of the school year, September, October, November. The first half of the series revolves primarily around Phindi’s gripping abduction story and its aftermaths, while the second half moves on to lighter stories including a blooming romance, the rediscovery of a long lost father, family reconciliation, a matric dance, a wedding… juxtaposed with a dark, underlying plot of revenge and murder. The threads come together in the final episode where, in the midst of joyous celebration, a shocking event takes place which will affect the lives of all our key players.
I am free if you are free.
The choices we make, big or small either progress or impede our personal freedom and the freedom of those in our world.
PREMISE (WHAT IF QUESTIONS)
What if we choose to be locked into the tragedies that befall us? Will we choose differently if the blindfolds are cast aside and we allow ourselves to live authentic lives? Or will we be imprisoned by our guilt, anxieties or circumstances? Will we break negative patterns or perpetuate them? What if we are blinded by our own insecurities and selfish aspirations? Will we do whatever it takes to achieve our goals or will be consider those we hurt in doing so?