There are less than a handful of black directors who made films before the 1990s. The reasons for this are the same reasons that kept black people out of other professions: economic and legal discrimination, a lack of available training, a lack of money (subsidies favoured white, and specifically Afrikaans film makers) and an often-hostile environment. In addition there was legislation that forbad black and coloured people from taking the lead roles in films. So in films like Katrina, the coloured doctor was played by a white actor who had his face darkened with make up.

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