(Cinema Libre Studio; in theaters; on DVD in January 2008)
For the 550 children living in South Africa’s Boikarabelo orphanage, death and disease are a near-constant reality. Angels in the Dust, a heartbreaking documentary by writer and director Louise Hogarth, tells the story of Marion Cloete, Boikarabelo’s passionate and courageous yet flawed matriarch. Cloete, her husband, and their two daughters gave up their middle-class Afrikaner lifestyle in Johannesburg to run the orphanage, and the film follows them as they try to bring a little peace, security, and love to the orphans’ AIDS-wracked lives. Hogarth casts a public eye on the children’s most private moments of grief as they struggle to survive inside Boikarabelo, a tiny refuge of childlike hope in a desolate landscape of tragedy.