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MUGABE AND THE WHITE AFRICAN
Best Documentary British Independent Film Awards
Grand Jury Prize Silverdocs Doc. Fest
"The film's strength lies in its fearless reportage" -TimeOut London
"Heart-wrenching, enraging... This film is an unmissable portrait of courage under fire" -Guardian UK
"[A] potent mix of suspense, pathos and indignation" -Variety
"Engrossing and enraging" -NPR
"Cinema-as-journalism at its most aesthetically confident and humanely satisfying... the documentary has both the perilous, buzz-worthy backstory of a Burma VJ and the patient, landscape-aware mise-en-scène of a Maysles film" -Slant Magazine
"Incendiary" -Village Voice
Recommended! "Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson's brooding documentary is tense and brimming with suspense, effectively playing out as a thriller" -NewCity Chicago
½ "A remarkably vivid portrait of a land and its people" -Chicago Tribune
"Riveting" -Chicago Reader
Family patriarch Mike Campbell is one of the few white farmers left in Zimbabwe since President Robert Mugabe began his violent land seizure program in 2000. Since then the country has descended into chaos, and the economy has been devastated by the reallocation of formerly white-owned farms to Mugabe cronies, who have no knowledge, experience or interest in farming. In 2008, after years of intimidation and threats to his family and farm, Campbell decides to take action. Unable to call upon the protection of any Zimbabwean authorities, he challenges Mugabe before an international court, charging him and his government with racial discrimination and human rights violations. Lurking beneath every frame of this riveting documentary is a palpable sense of fear, something many in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe feel on a daily basis. Mugabe and the White African is the only documentary feature that has come out of Zimbabwe in recent years -- with much of the footage shot covertly -- and is perhaps our only real glimpse of what it's like to live inside Mugabe's Zimbabwe.
Directed by Lucy Bailey & Andrew Thompson, 2009, UK, 94 mins. In English and Shona with English subtitles.