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Simon & I
South Africa, 2002, 52 minutes, Color, VHS
Order No. W03812
SIMON & I is an intimate and inspiring portrait of black South African gay rights activist Simon Nkoli, who died of AIDS in 1998, and his fellow activist and protégé, Bev Ditsie. Chronicling two remarkable decades of activism, their story charts the history of the gay and lesbian liberation movement in South Africa and presents a personal account of the devastating AIDS epidemic in Africa. Bev unfolds their unique relationship using a mixed format of interviews, archival images and newspaper clips, while speaking honestly about the challenges they faced and the difficult issue of sexism within the gay rights movement. Their hard work and unyielding determination moved South Africa to become the only country in the world to include sexual orientation in its constitutional Bill of Rights. An homage to a great figure in the gay and lesbian rights movement, SIMON & I is equally a tribute to an enduring friendship and bond between two remarkable leaders.


  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
  • Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival
  • San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
  • Chicago Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
  • Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
  • Reel Affirmations Film Festival

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    “…an honest and revealing account, one that will speak volumes to anyone from countries where even the leaders, charged with protecting their citizens, unashamedly leave the door open for gay bashing.”
    San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

    “This poignant and deeply moving film bears witness to a country's struggle for equality -- and a friendship that transcends even death.”
    Reel Affirmations Film Festival

    “This wonderfully crafted film recounts the work and friendship of two groundbreaking AIDS activists…[and] expresses the sacrifice and dedication required to create change in an unchanging government.”
    Chicago Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

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    Simon & I is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us