The Third Reel by SJ Naude
Twenty-two-year-old Etienne is studying film in London, having fled conscription in his native South Africa. It is 1986, the time of Thatcher, anti-apartheid campaigns and AIDS, but also of postmodern art, post-punk rock, and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Adrift in a city cast in shadow, he falls in love with a German artist while living in derelict artists' communes.
When Etienne finds the first of three reels of a German film from the 1930s, he begins searching for the missing reels, a project that turns into an obsession when his lover disappears in Berlin. It is while navigating this city divided by the Wall that Etienne gradually pieces together the history of a small group of Jewish film makers in Nazi Germany. It is a desperate quest amid complications that pull him back to the present and to South Africa.
Paperback / 400 pages