Award-winning film tours to informal settlement communities
April 30 - 25 May 2015
Dear Mandela, the multi award-winning documentary film, directed by Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza, will be screened in informal settlement communities on a national tour, to help highlight human rights issues and inform and educate people about their rights.
The film, which premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in 2011, follows the journey of three friends living in Durban's vast shantytowns who refuse to be moved from their shacks after the South African government begins to evict of shack dwellers in an endeavor to 'eradicate the slums'. From their humble homes, the three take their pleas to the highest court in the land as they invoke Nelson Mandela's example and become leaders in a growing social movement, known as Abahlali baseMjondolo. The film is at once inspiring, devastating and funny, offering a new perspective on the role that young people can play in political change and is a fascinating portrait of South Africa coming of age.
Winner of multiple awards, including Best South African Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival and a nomination for Best Documentary at the African Academy Awards, Dear Mandela has screened in 35 countries and been translated into 10 languages.
The national tour, is being launched at the Constitutional Court on Thursday, 30 April, with remarks by Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Dikgang Moseneke and a post-screening panel discussion and Q&A session with Justice Zak Yacoob, Abahlali baseMjondolo Founding President, S’bu Zikode and Youth Leader, Mazwi Nzimande. Thereafter will be screened in communities in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg facing similar challenges as those faced by the members of the Abahlali movement. Each screening of the tour will be followed by a Q&A and debate with AbM Founding President, S'bu Zikode and Youth Leader, Mazwi Nzimande. Both leaders have been directly affected by the wave of state repression. As documented in the film, S’bu’s family home at the Kennedy Road Informal Settlement was destroyed by ANC party loyalists in September 2009 and they were forced into hiding after repeated public death threats against him. They are currently back in hiding after more death threats, some coming from leaders in Durban. For the audience, the campaign presents an opportunity for these communities to engage with, and learn from, the issues raised and struggles depicted in the film.
The tour will also include accompanying workshops for community leaders, run by the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI). Funded by the Ford Foundation, the project hopes to build a platform to connect the struggles of grassroots social movements and community based organizations, to equip these organizations with the necessary knowledge about their legal rights, and encourage them to partake in bringing about social change in their immediate environment.
“Ensuring that marginalised communities are trained and versed in their legal rights would mean that illegal evictions would be substantially curbed. Legal training and knowledge transfer would also result in pro-active community-driven claims to socio-economic entitlements, thereby enabling these communities to participate in the discourses of delivery from a legally secure position.” says Dara Kell. “The screening tour brings together community members and activists from all over South Africa to discuss forced evictions here, and around the world, connecting those at risk of forced eviction around the globe, and strengthening social movements working toward the right to adequate housing and dignity for all.”
Screenings are as follows:
Thursday, April 30: Launch at the Constitutional Court, Johannesburg, 18:00
Saturday, May 2: Workshop and Screening - Masakane or Zandspruit Primary School (TBC) Zandspruit, Johannesburg
Sunday, May 3 Workshop and Screening - Evaton Community Centre, Evaton, Johannesburg
Saturday, May 9: Screening - Hindu Surat Foundation, 137 Dr Goonham Street, Durban CBD
Sunday, May 10: Screening - Silver City Community Hall, Umlazi Township, Durban
Saturday, May 16: Workshop and Screening - Green Point Hall, Khayelitsha, Cape Town
Sunday, May 17: Workshop and Screening - Community Hall, Sweet Home Farm, Phillipi, Cape Town
For more information and times, follow the tour on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Tumblr. (@dearmandela)
All screening information at: http://dearmandela.tumblr.com/ NOTE THIS URL TO BE UPDATED
This project is supported by the Sundance Institute, the Ford Foundation and Chicken & Egg Pictures. Sleeping Giant is a documentary and new media production company based in New York.
More about the film
Watch the trailer in English: https://vimeo.com/26538549
What the critics said:
VARIETY: “Stirring…evocatively shot, lucidly edited.”
"GRIPPING, eye-opening…a call to action as much as it is an indictment of a government that has lost its way" - Charl Blignaut, City Press
"ENTHRALLING" - Mahala Magazine
"Leaves us with questions few have dared to ask about the new South Africa" - Marie Huchzermeyer, author of Cities With 'Slums'