Scenes from a Dry City


For Cape Town, South Africa, Day Zero—the day when all municipal tap water runs dry—is imminent. As drought plagues the city, the government must encroach upon citizens’ commonplace habits in an effort to monitor water waste. Police chases of illegal car washers and investigations into houseplant watering offer a glimpse into a disintegrating government as it attempts to preserve its life force. Yet the people organize out of desperation to survive. Local watering holes bring neighbors together, protesters peacefully demonstrate against water privatization, and mass spiritual revivals gather to summon rain through prayer. These crowds are juxtaposed against quiet shots of golfers continuing their sport on lush green courses in blissful ignorance. With searing drone footage over dry wasteland and lingering shots of trickling streams, Simon Wood and François Verster convey the urgency of considering the essentiality of water and the implications of who gets the last drop.  KL  


Simon Wood, François Verster


Khalid Shamis


Simon Wood, François Verster

Release Year


Festival Year



United States, South Africa

Run Time

13 minutes