Everything Must Fall

  • Rehad Desai
  • South Africa, Netherlands, Belgium
  • 2018
  • 85 min
  • International Premiere
  • Frontlight

When South African universities raised their fees in 2015, initially peaceful protests were held at the University of the Witwatersrand (commonly known as Wits). #feesmustfall became the battle cry for those struggling to keep school affordable and to prevent the poorer black population from being excluded from a decent education. Poverty was already rampant before the fee hike, with thousands of mainly black students dependent on food banks on a daily basis.

Here, four prominent student leaders and others talk about their role in what happened when the board of the university realized they couldn’t stop the protest, opting to call in a massive police force. In a day-by-day recapitulation of events featuring footage from the battleground itself, Everything Must Fall shows how the conflict escalated and sowed division among university staff. Besides indignant rage, all the testimonies expose a deep desire to eradicate traditional power relationships and fundamental inequality among the genders and races. The call for freely accessible, decolonized education rings louder and louder.


  • 85 min
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English, Zulu
  • Subtitles in: English
Rehad Desai
Anita Khanna / Uhuru Productions, Rehad Desai / Uhuru Productions, Zivia Desai Keiper / Uhuru Productions
Kittina Media, EO, Storyhouse
Nic Hofmeyr
Megan Gill, Geert Veuskens, Arya Lalloo

IDFA history

International Premiere

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