Difficult Love

by Zanele Muholi, Peter Goldsmid

South Africa, 2010

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streaming regions: GLOBAL


Difficult Love is an intimate, thought-provoking portrait of internationally celebrated South African lesbian photographer, Zanele Muholi, and their highly personal take on the challenges facing Black lesbians in South Africa. The film features interviews with Muholi as well as with their friends, colleagues, and peers, and provides a compelling overview of the artist, their life and their work. This poignant documentary takes us behind the facade of art making and shares with us the highly political environment Muholi must navigate in order to bring their lush photographs to light.

about the director

Zanele Muholi was born in Umlazi, a township southwest of Durban, South Africa, in 1972. From self-portraiture to photographs of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people living in South Africa, Muholi creates work that asserts the presence of South Africa’s historically marginalized and discriminated LGBTQIA+ community. Both joyful and courageous, Muholi self-identifies as a visual activist, driven by a dedication to owning their voice, identity, and history and providing space for others in their community to do the same (Art21). Tate Modern presented a major survey of Muholi’s work in 2021.

Peter Goldsmid is an award-winning and performance-oriented screenwriter-director-producer with a strong technical background in film and video. He has extensive experience in developing, writing, directing, and producing a variety of single and multi-camera projects, including single dramas, mini-series, long-running drama series, documentaries, and a soap opera. He has a long-standing interest in issues around human rights, crime, and society and studied legal philosophy at Oxford University, which preceded his BA in Photographic Arts (at the Polytechnic of Central London). He has worked in the South African film and television industry since 1976.