About the Film

Filmmakers Esy Casey and Sarah Friedland create an intimate portrait of two HIV+ Zulu women in rural South Africa, their struggle to survive, and the clash of tradition with treatment in a growing, yet unspoken epidemic.The universal aspects of motherhood and the struggle to survive are explored through the womens’ lives: Danisile’s strained relationship with her teenage daughter, who secretly fears becoming one of South Africa’s AIDS orphans, and the traditional Zulu ceremonies that Ntombeleni’s family holds to combat her illness. Illustrating the bittersweet reality of the situation, through both the miracle of survival and the tragedy of falling victim to an overwhelmed medical system, Thing With No Name reveals the private and public obstacles that led to an out of control epidemic. While the harrowing reality of the disease is offset by the gorgeous natural surroundings and the quiet humor of these resilient women, the film pays witness to a strength of will undone by a lack of resources and support, while it urgently makes the case for a more hopeful future.