Stop motion is the most obvious thread that ties all of these endeavors together and Kentridge uses it to rare expressive mastery. Kentridge's cartoons swirl out of a charcoal dust cloud, composing themselves amidst a chaotic uncertainty of smears and smudges that all too often mirrors the historic uncertainty of South Africa's troubled past. The only sense of resolution seems to be found in the act of erasure which is never fully realized. A penumbra of afterimages remain as both surface stains and temporal reminders that the movie might exist, but the original drawings that once comprised it have been destroyed in the birthing process that gave it life. A document survives but, like much of history it's a document whose very existence is made possible only by the destruction of the evidence that created it in the first place. It's a kind of post apartheid "Dance Macabre". A low tech waltz of life, death and perhaps at some point redemption.
I'm reminded of something Francis Bacon once said about seeing himself primarily as a human transmitter, picking up signals he knew not from where. For him it was a kind of free association that he dared not question for fear that the act of inquiry would forever sever his connection to its source. I don't know if Kentridge shares this particular misgiving but he certainly shares the intent that motivates it. At one point he declares "I believe that if you work persistently, whatever is of interest inside you will eventually come out". I think a strong corollary can be drawn between the ability to dedicate ones life to persistent work and the mental attitude that privileges creative process over specific outcome.