The State Against Mandela and the Others Film
Nicolas Champeaux, Gilles Porte | South Africa/ France 2018 | English and French with English subtitles | 1h45m | 15
There were no cameras in court when Nelson Mandela and nine other defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964, but sound recordings were made throughout the trial. Recognising the potential of these 256 hours of footage, directors Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte used them to create a vivid reflection on the apartheid era. The cross-examinations are illustrated by animation in grey, sometimes abstract charcoal sketches, and accompanied by interviews with the people who were directly involved. Wearing headphones, they relive the notorious Rivonia Trial.
The State Against Mandela and the Others provides a history lesson that could never be gleaned from a book. The trial took place more than 50 years ago, but it now feels closer than ever.
This screening is kindly sponsored by the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh and will be followed by a discussion.