In South Africa, people like Bobedi, the film’s protagonist, are called "Black Diamonds". At the age of 35, Bobedi, a black man who has made his way up from extremely poor conditions, becomes the head of one of the mining companies Johannesburg owes its wealth to. But the climax of his glowing career also becomes a turning point in his life: A masked burglar murders his wife Joy right before his eyes, with a pool of blood spreading through their apartment’s designer elegance. In his search for the murderer, thirsty for revenge, Bobedi gradually loses grip on his nouveau riche life as his tracks lead him back to the infamous township of Alexandra where his past catches up and takes hold of him. Violence in its manifold forms has reached the proportions of an uncontrollable plague in South Africa. It spreads like a virus, transforming itself in the memories of those who have encountered it either as perpetrators or as victims and growing when faced with the fear of it. State of Violence sheds light on the power of violence in the former apartheid state in a thriller, which also owes its suspense to the director’s background as a documentary filmmaker.
South Africa / France 2010, 79 min