Films On Mandela’s 100th Posthumous Birthday Premieres

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Three films, with fascinating insights into the life and times of late South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela, would premiere at the 39th Durban International Film Festival. According to the organisers of the annual film fiesta holding from July 19 to 29 in Durban, the films was to honour the late African statesman on his 100th anniversary, celebrated globally. The three films are: ‘Celebrating Mandela One Hundred’, ‘An Act Of Defiance’ and ‘The State Against Mandela and the Others.’ ‘Celebrating Mandela One Hundred’ is a documentary feature produced by Anant Singh and made with the support and endorsement of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The film traces Mandela’s life from his roots in the rural village of Mveso to his rise as one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen. The documentary explores both the personal and political aspects of the icon’s life by featuring exclusive interviews with family members, close friends, comrades, politicians and international celebrities. ‘An Act of Defiance’, directed by Jean Van De Velde, tells the story of Bram Fischer who managed to reconcile his white Afrikaner roots with his desire for justice, joining the struggle against apartheid out of principle. He defended Mandela and his comrades in the Rivonia Trial of 1963 and 1964 – playing a crucial role in preventing ANC leaders from being sentenced to death – and was an underground guerrilla at the same time. ‘The State Against Mandela and the Others’, directed by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte, is a documentary based on recently recovered archival recordings of the Rivonia Trial hearings. Although Mandela took centre stage during the historic trial, there were nine others who, like him, faced the death sentence and were subject to pitiless cross-examinations. The film goes back into the thick of the courtroom battles and attempts to redress the historic balance by putting Mandela’s comrades in the centre stage. “The State Against Mandela and the Others is a reminder that all great things that happen in this world are achieved collectively.’ says co-director Porte.
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