Germany, South Africa | 2017 | 58 min
Languages : English, Zulu
Subtitles : English, French
Hillbrow, a Johannesburg district bristling with buildings, on whose concrete reverberates the incessant maelstrom of street sounds. This overpopulated suburb, where life is cheap, is the playground of Tebogo and Karabo. Aged around fifteen, not very interested in school, in conflict with their mothers who are raising them alone and leave them a little to themselves, the two friends spend the summer relieving their boredom as best as they can. When they are not mixing with the groups of their elders, dancing in underground car parks or drifting through the urban hell, they seem to watch over the city by seeking refuge on the roof of their block. It offers a stunning view “over all of Africa”, as one of them jokes for the camera, before recounting how, the day before, three kids died, just below, mowed down by cars during a high-speed chase. With Touching Concrete, Ilja Stahl films the violent universe of adolescents who seek to pay no heed to the shadows weighing on their future and long to escape the arbitrariness that had them born and raised, here.