Devastation in South Africa: Dear Mandela
South Africa- | Sep 13 2012 | (23:06:24 - EDT)
"DEAR MANDELA" is currently on an eight-city tour across the US. Upcoming screenings film festivals in London, Edinburgh, Montréal, Lithuania and Sweden. The film is also shown in displacement camps in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. "DEAR MANDELA" will be available on Netflix and iTunes in the spring of 2013.
Winner of the prize for Best South African Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival and a nominee for Best Documentary at the African Academy Awards, "DEAR MANDELA" is a remarkably vivid and lucid view of South Africa’s first post apartheid generation as they come of age in a nation of unfulfilled promises and increasing government repression of political activists.
As the government moves to destroy shack homes without providing alternative housing, hundreds of thousands face homelessness. Kell & Nizza dive into the world of South Africa’s shantytowns, sprawling and growing settlements where many who move to the cities are forced to live. Here they find the core of a resistance movement called Abahlali baseMjondolo – Zulu for ‘People of the Shacks’. Among its members are three inspirational young leaders: the calm, eloquent student Mazwi, the passionate, rousing shopkeeper Mnikelo, and the resilient Zama, who runs an AIDS orphanage, and is such an orphan herself. Though these three serve as the film’s beating heart, Kell & Nizza offer a wide-ranging portrait of a nation straying far away from Nelson Mandela’s vision.
As the movement’s effort to repeal the draconian ‘Slums Act’ takes them from the shacks to the highest court in the land, the film’s characters become the targets of mysterious assassination attempts. The filmmakers closely follow the action, as some of the darkest sides of the nation’s ruling party, the African National Congress, are exposed. Young leaders such as Mazwi and Mnikelo are faced with the task of not only fighting for the right of their people to a better life, but of doing so without alienating those who fought the same fight just decades earlier.
Deftly moving between social spheres in a South Africa that finds itself as segregated along class lines today as it once was along racial divides, Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza’s stirring, rigorous film – a product of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Fund – captures a moment of popular triumph against a government bent on progress without regard for its citizens.
It was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize and Best Documentary at the 2012 Brooklyn Film Festival.
For more information, please visit: www.dearmandela.com
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