Ubu and the Truth Commission is a play directed by William Kentridge with a script by Jane Taylor. Debuting in Johannesburg in 1997, the piece incorporates puppetry, projected animation, and live performance. Ubu Tells the Truth sees Kentridge translate this theater work into video.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established by the government of South Africa in 1995 to resolve issues related to the end of apartheid. King Ubu, the notorious protagonist of Alfred Jarry’s 1896 absurdist masterpiece Ubu Roi, here reappears one hundred years later as a symbolic figure in this contemporary drama. Kentridge’s early theatrical training in Paris and his interest in interdisciplinary collaboration gave this, his first theater work, creative dexterity, further incorporating charcoal drawing, animation, and photography. The film is both a continuation of his earlier style and a shift toward the forms and moods of his later works.


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