Clay soldiers, a green bicycle and Jozi’s food


Clay soldiers, a green bicycle and Jozi’s food

Vrye Weekblad's sub-editors turn to the farthest corners of the world for their TV recommendations, while TIAAN NAGEL has Johannesburg eating and shopping tips. HEIN SCHOLTZ rounds things off with his top five plant books.

  • 21 June 2024
  • Lifestyle
  • 4 min to read
  • article 15 of 16


Ilse Bigalke recommends this doccie:

Documentary: Mysteries of the Terracotta Warriors
Platform: Netflix
Director: James Tovell

The Terracotta Army, a tourist attraction in Xi'an in China's Shaanxi province, is considered the greatest archaeological find of the last century. The history of this collection of life-size sculptures is explored in a new documentary. Archaeologists, forensic experts and historians speculate why they were made, and why they were found burnt and in pieces in the giant mausoleum where they had stood.

More than 8,000 soldiers, as well as 130 chariots and 670 horses, were discovered in 1974 in part of the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, who unified China as its first emperor. The army apparently had to protect him in the afterlife, and according to the documentary thousands of prisoners were forced to help make the sculptures in inhumane conditions. Qin also had most of the Great Wall of China built to protect his empire.

The soldiers, now about 2,200 years old, are on average 1.8m tall, each with a unique appearance, and the restoration of just one of them takes up to three years. The project is far from over.

Qin's vision of a unified China survived but his dynasty fell after just 15 years. In the documentary, experts elaborate on what their research tells them about China's history and the rise and fall of its first emperor. Their findings do not necessarily agree with those of other historians and keep the viewer glued to the end.

Lees hierdie artikel in Afrikaans:

Hans Pienaar's recommendation:

Movie: Wadjda
Platform: Mubi
: Haifaa al-Mansour
Actors: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah

After my travels in the Middle East, my heart goes out to women in countries with Islamic governments because of their deprivation, oppression and plain abuse. I fully support uprisings by women dissidents in Iran and other countries; in my opinion, these are the most important movements of our time.

However, it remains an issue that receives far too little attention while the war storms blow sand over everything. I feel I need to demand that anyone wishing to pass judgment on anything in the Middle East watch the film Wadjda — fortunately it is also an excellent piece of work in terms of production values ​​and yes, even entertainment.

It's the story of a young girl who one day sees a green bicycle for sale and decides she wants it, come hell or high water. Because there is not much water in Saudi Arabia, the hell of being a woman there has to make up in terms of obstacles. But because she is still on the verge of adolescence, she enjoys enough freedoms so that her initiation does not become too much of a lament — on the contrary, there is a lot of humour and the young actress Waad Mohammed quickly wins you over.

There is also the sexy mother, played by Reem Abdullah, and the music by top German composer Max Richter. It's on Mubi, the platform for “art films" where one sometimes watches highly recommended films then feels cheated. Fortunately, there is a greater number of productions that stick with you for months. Wadjda is one of them.


Tiaan Nagel, clothing and interior designer, shares his top five restaurants in Jozi

#1 Cnr Café in Craighall is one of our favourite places for a quick dinner as a family. Greg Georgiades' menu has great vegetarian dishes and the panko-crumbed eggplant with beans is amazing.
#2 Tortellino d'Oro in Oaklands is one of my favourite restaurants and under the owner, Catarina Bollini, it has become an institution.
#3 Emma Chen's Red Chamber in Hyde Park Corner, as well as her sister restaurant PRON (People's Republic of Noodles) in Linden, are the go-to eateries for noodle dishes, Peking duck and pancakes.
#4 Culinary Table has a great menu and you sit in the garden where all the vegetables and fruits are grown. It's a bit out of the city, in the direction of Lanseria, but definitely worth it.
#5 Momo Kuro in Rosebank is a hidden gem for Japanese food.

Tiaan's top five shops in Jozi

#1 Apsley House in Hyde Park Corner. It has a nice selection of Ginori plates, all handmade and painted in Florence, Italy.
#2 One of my favourite showrooms is Tonic Design in Parktown North. Phillippe van der Merwe and Greg Gamble have a special eye and a unique way of combining antique furniture and contemporary art.
#3 I love the fresh flowers at Botanicus in Hyde Park Corner. Johannes van Greunen has a brilliant eye for interesting colour combinations and textures.
#4 Lunetta Bartz from Maker in Kew makes the paper for her diaries or notebooks herself. The marble-like paper has a 1970s alternative and modernist vibe.
#5 Kim Sacks on Jan Smuts Avenue curates a wonderful space with fantastic designs and objects. I am especially taken by her wooden boards with different wooden inlays by Allan Schwarz.

Hein Scholtz, creative producer and director at Pop24 and plant lover, shares his top five garden/plant books

#1 Orchids of South Africa: A Field Guide — Steve Johnson and Benny Bytebier
#2 Floras — Kew Gardens
#3 Grootbos Florilegium — Quivertree Publications
#4 Complete Gardening in Southern Africa — WG Sheat and Gerald Schofield
#5 Remarkable Gardens of South Africa — Nini Bairnsfather Cloete

♦ VWB ♦

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