fbpx Biennale Cinema 2021 | Container
La Biennale di Venezia

Your are here



Venice VR Expanded
Meghna Singh, Simon Wood
Saltpeter Productions (Simon Wood)
Running Time:
English, Macua
South Africa
Main Cast:
Rehane Abrahams, Sanda Shandu, Albert Pretorius, Han Sung Ha, Faith Kinniar, Tharwah Jacobs, Cullum Davis, Imaad Williams, Thaakier Galant, Chuma Sopotela, Jenny Stead, Lionel Newton, Gerhard Conradie, Chrystal Conradie
Meghna Singh, Simon Wood
Michael Carter
Shane Cooper
James Oliver
Oculus & Viveport
HTC Vive/Vive Pro/Pro 2 Oculus Rift/Rift S/Quest w/link Oculus Quest 1/Quest 2 Valve Index


Container makes visible the ‘invisiblised’ bodies enabling our consumer society. Confronting slavery through an ever-transforming shipping container, the past becomes the present, the invisible become visible. We witness the shards of society: the ghosts of the past and living spectres of the modern world. Our journey begins at Clifton beach, Cape Town where lie the graves of the 221 enslaved men and women who drowned in shackles when a Portuguese slave ship sank in 1794. Following chains, we dive into the depths of the ocean in search of the ancestors, the missing, that haven’t been laid to rest yet. A shipping container emerges, the doors burst open, we enter the darkness. What follows is an ever-morphing transmutation of dark societal truths within the bounds of a shipping container: a non-linear world across time and space that presents different tableaus of the enslaved silently suffering. We witness a wounded man in a sugarcane plantation crawl into a colonial house where an overworked maid reveals the scene of a massage parlour. The journey culminates at a container depot where boxes are being packed and unpacked, feeding into an endless circulation of goods, in service of a consumerist society enabled by the millions who came before and are still trapped in servitude.

Directors’ Statement

Container is made in the memory of the 221 enslaved men, women and children who drowned in shackles onboard the Portuguese slave ship Sao Jose Paquette de Africa in 1794. Those who survived were sold into slavery in Cape Town. Their ancestors continue to live amongst us today. Container makes visible the lives of those were chained, those who drowned and those who continue to be enslaved in new forms of economic servitude. The choice of the container, physical and symbolic, showcases how people have become commodities, which is the very definition of slavery: people as products.


PRODUCTION 1: Meghna Singh, Simon Wood – Saltpeter Productions
38 Brownlow Road, Tamberskloof
8001 – Cape Town, South Africa
Tel. +27 799745050

WORLD SALES: Ingrid Kopp – Electric South
76 Arnold Street
7925 – Cape Town, South Africa
Tel. +27 824488555

PRESS OFFICE: Taryn Joffe – Electric South
76 Arnold Street,
7925, Cape Town, South Africa,
Tel. +27 824488555

Share this page on

Share on FacebookShare on XShare on LinkedINSend via WhatsApp
Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema