Dear Mandela 0+

D. Kell - C. Nizza, ZA 2011, original version / English and Czech subtitles, 90 min
Dear Mandela

When Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa in 1994, it was a miraculous moment for many of the country’s inhabitants. With the collapse of the despised apartheid system, people believed in a better future for everyone, including poor people living in cardboard shacks on the edges of large cities. Seventeen years later, this dream has dissipated for many. The biggest disappointment has been Mandela’s unfulfilled promise that he would guarantee real houses for all slum dwellers. Dear Mandela is an engaging film that tells the story of the Abahlali civic movement, which united the inhabitants of poor districts against a discriminatory law that saw them evicted from their homes. In their efforts to have the law revoked, activists took an unprecedented step: they went to the Constitutional Court to challenge legislation that had been initiated by the African National Congress, Mandela’s own party, which holds an almost sacred status in South Africa. Few could have expected the response this action engendered throughout the entire country.

 

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