Marikana film premieres at Book Cafe

HARARE - Harare’s Book Café and Pamberi Trust present the Zimbabwe premiere of the multiple award-winning documentary film Miners Shot Down on Thursday, May 22.

The film was directed by South African filmmaker, Rehad Desai.

The film-screening will be followed by an open discussion, introducing Desai in person, with renowned Zimbabwean academic and author Prof Mandi Rukuni.

In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days later, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. Using the point of view of the Marikana miners, Miners Shot Down follows the strike from day one.

What emerges is collusion at the top, spiraling violence and the country’s first post-colonial massacre.

South Africa will never be the same again. The film is a reconstruction of the events surrounding the strike, using unprecedented footage of the days leading up to the fatal event.  It has been screened widely in South Africa, in Senegal, France, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands where it won the Camera Justitia Award at “Movies that Matter Festival” 2014 in The Hague, and the “Václav Havel Jury Award” in Prague.

Reviewing the film after its Capetown premiere, Lindy Wilson said: “… an excellent and outstanding film, moving and chilling.

“It is so good and very important that the film can now be widely seen and will re-open this long, on-going saga, ending with one of the most shameful events of our history (including apartheid). The story is tragic in every possible way and you have laid it out so coherently, the music adding so much to everything else in the structure, filming and editing.

“Congratulations, too, on its being chosen to open the One World Festival in Prague, such a good place for it to be shown. I hope that went very well, too, as was the audience response in Cape Town.”

Desai is one of South Africa’s best-known documentary filmmakers and the CEO of Uhuru Productions.

A former political exile, Desai worked as a trade union organiser and as a director of an HIV prevention NGO before entering the film and television industry as a current affairs journalist.

He has directed over 20 documentaries, many of which have seen international broadcast and been accepted into numerous festivals, receiving critical acclaim.

His current project, Miners Shot Down, is a synthesis of his skills as a filmmaker and experience as an activist. Miners Shot Down production house Uhuru Productions (Pty) Ltd is a wholly black-owned film and television production house based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The filmscreening of Miners Shot Down is part of a Book Café week-long programme for Africa Day celebrations and Harare International Carnival, presented by Pamberi Trust “Re-linking Communities through Culture”.

Entry is free and all people are welcome.

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