07/02/2017 05:38 GMT | Updated 07/02/2017 06:49 GMT

Banned SA film to be screened in the US

The action film was thought to be lost, until now

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Singer Abigail Kubeka

"Joe Bullet" is a South African film that was produced in 1971, starred Ken Gampu and Abigail Kubeka, and was banned during apartheid. Previously thought to be lost, the film was rediscovered and restored, and will now be screened in the United States, The Star reported on Tuesday.

It will be screened at the Cinema Detroit next week, according to the report.

The Star quoted the chief executive of local production company Gravel Road Distribution, Benjamin Cowley, saying the movie was banned because, among other things, it showed a black man with a gun "driving a nice car and living in a nice apartment."

The film is reportedly about a South African soccer team, The Eagles, who are sabotaged by a gangster just before a championship final. They enlist the help of Joe Bullet, played by Gampu, of "The Gods Must Be Crazy" fame.

The action film shows the star fighting "villainous henchmen ... and (he) brings the martial arts mojo," Cowley told the publication.

The film was later unbanned but was thought to be lost, until it was rediscovered in a garage, and the distribution company has since digitally restored it.

Cowley told The Star that the film's all black case had been harassed by the apartheid state security services during production. It was screened only twice in 1973 before being banned.