Jason Staggie joins The Morning Cruise to discuss
I've always respected directors that attempt to make personal films...Hard Livings is a personal film. It's a personal film with far reaching tentacles.
I was 12 years old when I witnessed my uncle, Rashaad Staggie's death on T.V. I was 14 when my father was sentenced to twenty three years in prison. Needless to say, my life has been affected by gangsterism. I've seen its destruction at a very, very personal level.
I've always wanted to make films - I wrote my first full feature screenplay when I was 15. I was the first person in my family to graduate from university. I dabbled with the idea of studying law but instead I settled on Psychology and Film Studies, figuring that the Psychology aspect would enable me to create better characters in my future films.
I left South Africa after graduation...In the end I was awarded a scholarship to go to Prague Film School in the Czech Republic.
As the years have progressed and my experiences have grown, I have been able to look at the whole gangster situation in Cape Town very objectively. Whenever I returned home it seemed like the problem just escalated as gang war after gang war took place. This upset me enormously because my family has paid dearly for their transgressions. I asked myself, why should future generations do the same?
At its core this documentary deals with South African issues, but it can easily be set in any poverty stricken or gang infested city in the world. Although to be fair, it would be difficult to find such a compelling story and such vibrant, charismatic characters such as my twin uncles.