Special Preview: President 2021

Camilla Nielsson / Denmark, U.S.A, Norway / 115 mins / English, Shona / Rating 15

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Friday 22nd October 2021

at 7:30 PM /


Content Warning: This film contains scenes of violence that some may find distressing.

*Please note: this film has limited viewer capacity, please book as soon as possible*

When Robert Mugabe was removed from power by his own party after 38 years of dictatorial rule, Zimbabwe’s military leaders promised they would not seize control for themselves, but would ensure democracy via a national election. Against a backdrop of economic crisis, food shortages, and political violence, the stakes could not be higher. Working to defeat the incumbent Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), which has controlled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, is the young and charismatic Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance.

The election will be the ultimate test for both sides. How they interpret the principles of democracy, if they can inspire trust among Zimbabwe’s citizenry, not succumb to violence, and foster faith in institutions, will set the course for the future for the country. After decades of corrupt elites using any means necessary to retain power, can a free, fair, and transparent election be truly possible? With this sequel to her widely acclaimed documentary Democrats (2014), which followed the political battle to establish Zimbabwe’s first democratic constitution, director Camilla Nielsson brings viewers into the heart of an epic struggle for power. President is a riveting reminder that, while individuals and specifics may differ, the fight for democracy is of global relevance to all who envision a more just, egalitarian future. President offers powerful witness that it won't happen if we don't fight to create it.

About the director

Camilla Nielsson was a Fulbright Scholar at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (NYU), and in the Dept. of Anthropology (NYU), where she studied documentary filmmaking and visual anthropology. She directed the documentary short trilogy Good Morning Afghanistan (2003), Durga (2004), and The Children of Darfur (2005), about children’s rights, and Mumbai Disconnected (2009), in the "Cities on Speed" series.

Since 2007, she has collaborated with Israeli video artist Yael Bartana on the trilogy We Will Be Strong in Our Weakness (Berlinale 2011, Venice Biennale 2011), and Demonstrators (2011), for the exhibition 'Re:Constructed Landscapes' (Danish National Gallery / SMK). She was the artistic advisor
for Yael Bartana’s "What if Women Ruled the World" opening at Manchester International Festival in July 2017, and Aarhus Kulturby in November 2017. Camilla Nielsson’s first feature documentary Democrats (2014), has screened at more than 80 film festivals, and won 20 awards and nominations, including Best Documentary at Tribeca Film Festival 2015, and Best Documentary at Nordic Panorama 2015.