(FESTIVAL OPENING FILM AT CHAPTER)
Dir: Meg Rickards, Bert Haitsma.
As South Africa prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary of the advent of democracy in 1994, it’s hard to believe the ‘Mandela miracle’ nearly didn’t happen. In an orgy of countrywide violence, some were intent on derailing the first free elections. Now, for the first time, those responsible for countless deaths and widespread mayhem explain how they nearly brought South Africa to its knees. A chilling look at what these hard men did to thwart democracy, but how they have now made an uneasy peace with the ‘Rainbow Nation’ in their own different ways.
CHAPTER ARTS CENTRE (CARDIFF): MON 20 OCTOBER @ 5.15 PM BOOK TICKET
South Africa/2011/93 mins/12A
Dir: Christopher Nizza & Dara Kell
The film brings us into the everyday lives of three dynamic leaders of the movement determined to stop the evictions in their slums. Mazwi, Zama and Mnikelo met with their communities by candlelight to study and debate new housing legislation. The shack dwellers discovered that the innocuous-sounding Slums Act legalized mass evictions and violated the rights enshrined in the country’s landmark Constitution. They challenged the Slums Act all the way to the highest court in the land – the hallowed Constitutional Court.
Achievements of the shack dwellers did not come without a price. Their movement’s very existence is threatened by shack demolitions, assassination attempts and prison detention without trial. When Zama and Mazwi are drawn into a dangerous mob attack, they learn of the contradictions inherent in the difficult decisions leaders must make, and experience how great leadership is often accompanied by great sacrifice.
TALIESIN (SWANSEA): 13TH OCTOBER @8.15 PM BOOK TICKET
ABERYSTWYTH ARTS CENTRE: 27TH OCTOBER @8.15 PM (FOLLOWED BY PANEL DISCUSSION)
+ FOLLOWED BY PANEL DISCUSSION
South Africa/1959/95 mins/12A
Dir: Lionel Rogosin
Secretly filmed in 1959, this is a historical wonder and an honest glimpse into the harsh reality of life under the now-abolished South African apartheid government. After witnessing firsthand the terrors of fascism as a soldier in World War II, director Lionel Rogosin vowed to fight against it wherever and whenever he saw its threats reemerging. In an effort to expose “what people try to avoid seeing,” Rogosin travelled to apartheid-struck South Africa and secretly filmed Come Back, Africa, which revealed the cruelty and injustice with which black South Africans were treated.
HADYN ELLIS BUILDING, CARDIFF UNIVERSITY, CF24 4HQ: 3RD NOV @ 6.30 PM BOOK TICKET
NEUADD OGWEN (BETHESDA): 13TH DEC BOOK TICKET
+ FOLLOWED BY PANEL DISCUSSION
South Africa/USA. 2014/84 min/18
Dir. Abby Ginzberg.
Albie Sachs, a lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter, finally has his inspiring story told on film. Set against the dramatic events leading to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa, Soft Vengeance provides a comprehensive overview of the brave sacrifices made by Sachs and other key members of the freedom struggle. Infused with the uplifting voice of the man himself, Abby Ginzberg’s documentary is a testament to the integrity of the fight for a New South Africa and a world of peace. An emotive film that recognizes the power and endurance of the human spirit at its best.
PONTIO, (BANGOR): 10TH DECEMBER @ 6.30 PM BUY TICKETS