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Netflix’s second African Original is about a group of teens at a prestigious school in Cape Town, and it’s one massive drama after another (as it goes with adolescents).
Filmed at various locations in the Western Cape, at the centre of the action is Puleng, played by Ama Qamata (you may have seen her in Gomora, My Perfect Family, Rhythm City), who we learn had a sister who was abducted as a newborn. Every year, the Khumalos celebrate missing Phume’s birthday with cake and candles – a ritual Puleng is growing weary of after 17 years.
The same evening, Puleng sneaks out to a fancy house party in Llandudno, which happens to also be a 17th birthday party, for Fikile “Fiks” Bhele (played by Khosi Ngema in her debut role). The coincidence leads to the pubescent obsession that Fiks – star swimmer and head girl candidate – is really the missing Phume.
Whether by accident or design, Puleng gets herself transferred to the lavish Parkhurst College, where she insinuates herself into Fiks’s life and social group, as she attempts to find out the truth.
This is merely the main plot; running alongside are family secrets, affairs, jealousy, misunderstandings, betrayals and more.
Blood & Water premiered globally in 190 countries on May 20. It is helmed by award-winning director Nosipho Dumisa (Best Director, Fantasia International Film Festival) and produced by Gambit Films. Look out for a brief cameo by rapper Nasty C, making his acting debut in one short scene. The series has six episodes, and finishes on a confident note there will be a second season.