Sobriety, Obesity and Growing Old picks up the narrative and themes begun in Kentridge's first film, Johannesburg the Second Greatest City after Paris, and follows the development of the relationships between his cast of invented characters, Soho Eckstein, his wife and her lover, Felix Teitelbaum. These relationships reflect, metaphorically, the changing political situation in South Africa at the time the film was made. Demonstrations and marches in opposition to the apartheid régime together with the governmental relaxation of most of the State of Emergency regulations and restrictions heralded the beginning of a change in the country's power structure (and white attitudes towards black African rights). Soho, a symbol of South African white power, develops the capacity for awareness, longing and love and the potential for guilt and repentance.
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