AfriDocs is proud to screen Miners Shot Down, the documentary that is essential viewing for every South African, as well as for anyone concerned with human rights and democracy.
Although specifically about a particular incident that takes place 20 years into South Africa?s democracy, the film is extremely relevant for international audiences due to its global themes of democracy, worker?s rights, citizen activism and freedom of speech.
The film will be screened on Tuesday, October 21st on DStv channel 190 and GOtv channel 65, on the only weekly primetime documentary stream broadcast across sub-Saharan Africa.
Describing the affect the film has, City Press journalist Charl Blignaut had this to say, ?The world looked different when I emerged from the cinema. It doesn?t often happen to me. Shuffling silently out into the light, I am acutely aware of my fellow moviegoers, afraid of bumping a little old lady next to me, afraid of hurting anyone at all. That?s the effect the film had. Rehad Desai?s documentary brings the miners to the fore with a terrible poignancy and an equal measure of urgency.?
Taking the Marikana shootings head on ? Miners Shot Down ? is essential viewing for anyone concerned about preserving the basic democratic rights of citizens whether it is in South Africa, across the African continent or beyond.
The importance of the film is in the real world implications of its screening, as Director Rehad Desai explains, ??I couldn?t ignore it, it was much too big, much too dramatic and upsetting for me,? he said. ?I had to do something for these miners. I just felt that I had to give them a voice. If authority strikes in such a brutal fashion, artists have to pick a side and indicate which side they?re on.?
The film and the related, and still on-going, awareness and activist campaign surrounding it has had significant and real impact, as Desai points out, ? since the film?s release earlier this year we have continued our outreach programme. As of a few weeks ago, the common purpose charges against the Marikana miners have been dropped and we believe the film has been instrumental in this regard. The Marikana Commission finally ends at the beginning of November with the report expected to be out Jan /February next year. ?
Rehad Desai will be available on twitter directly after the screening to answer any questions from viewers across Africa. The conversation will happen via the @Afri_Docs handle, with the #MSDAfriDocs.
The film has garnered eight awards to date including:
? Vaclav Havel Award, One World Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, 2014 ? Best Film
? Camera Justitia Award, Movies That Matter, The Hague, Holland, 2014 ? Best Film
? Aung San Suu Kyi Award, Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, Myanmar, 2014 ? Best Film
? Special Choice Award, Encounters South African, International Documentary Film Festival, South Africa, 2014
? Human Rights Jury Award ? Amnesty International ? South Africa, DIFF 2014
? Jury Award Best South African Documentary ? South Africa, DIFF 2014
? Best Documentary ? Audience Award- Koln, Cologne, Germany, 2014
? Jury Prize – UGU Port Shepstone, South Africa, 2014
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, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low-paid workers against the combined forces of the mining company Lonmin, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers.
What emerges is collusion at the top, spiraling violence and the country?s first post-apartheid massacre. South Africa will never be the same again.
AfriDocs is an initiative of the multi-awarded South African documentary production and distribution company, Steps, in partnership with the Bertha Foundation.
For the full programme schedule and synopses of the films, please go to www.afridocs.net or www.facebook.com/AfriDocs
You can also follow AfriDocs on twitter: @Afri_Docs
#AfricaNotOneStory #AfriDocs #AfricaRising
For more information about Miners Shot Down, please visit: www.minersshotdown.co.za | Facebook: Miners Shot Down | Follow us on Twitter: @minersshotdown.