Dear Mandela

By Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza

When Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa, his government was faced with a seemingly insurmountable task: providing a better life for those who had suffered under apartheid. The cornerstone of Mandela’s ‘unbreakable promise’ was an ambitious plan to ensure housing for all. Eighteen years later, as the number of families living in slums has doubled, a frightening tale of betrayal is unfolding.

The government is trying to 'eradicate the slums' by evicting shack dwellers from their homes at gunpoint, in scenes eerily reminiscent of apartheid-era forced removals. Determined to stop the bulldozers that are destroying homes and communities, a new social movement made up of the nation’s poorest is challenging the evictions on the streets and in the courts. DEAR MANDELA is the remarkable story of Abahlali BaseMjondolo – Zulu for ‘people of the shacks’. It is considered the largest movement of the poor to emerge in post-apartheid South Africa.

The film brings us into the everyday lives of three young friends who become dynamic leaders of the movement, and follows their journey from their shacks to the highest court in the land. By turns inspiring, devastating and funny, the film offers 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.

The film has won several prizes including the Grand Jury Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Montreal International Black Film Festival and Audience Award at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival.

Globala filmklubben Program HT 2016 (288 Kb)