Thing With No Name

2008, SD video, feature documentary, made with Esy Casey –  A portrait of two women, their families, and the struggle to survive in the midst of an unspoken epidemic. Set in the mountains of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the rate of infection in women is twice that of men, and one out of every six people is HIV+. This feature-length documentary provides an unprecedented, intimate glimpse into the traditional life of a rapidly changing culture.

Made possible by: the Paul Newman Foundation, The Jerome Foundation and the William H. Prusoff Foundation

Select screenings: Los Angeles Film Festival, Boston International Film,
Brooklyn Film Festival, Globians Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival,
Cleveland Film Festival, Starz Denver Film Festival, Renderyard Int. Film Festival,
International Film Festival on Tribal Art & Culture

Reviews: Read reviews from Variety, Spout Blog, IndieWire, A&U, and Emro here.

Learn more from organizations doing HIV/AIDS work in South Africa and Kwa-Zulu Natal: Philakahle, Emmaus Hospital, Bridging the Gaps

Rent the film for personal use.


  • featuring- Danisile Mvula and family, Natombeleni Mamlangeni and family
  • director- Sarah Ema Friedland
  • producers- Esy Casey, Sarah Ema Friedland, and Phumzile Ndlovu
  • translation- Vusi Maphalala
  • photography- Esy Casey
  • sound- Sarah Ema Friedland
  • editor- Sarah Ema Friedland
  • composition- Konrad Kaczmarek