I went to see this film tonight not quite knowing what to expect, but I can honestly say for a good few minutes as the credits rolled, the audience just sat. in silence. Nobody moved.
This film was so moving, and I think it's a film that everyone should see.
It documents the story of the Marikana mine workers strike of August 2012.
Lonmin, one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines ( British company) workers began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days later the police used live ammunition to suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more.
The film follows the strike from day one, with real footage, and interviews with those involved .. with some notable absences. It is perhaps those absences that are most telling.
However, one interesting interview is with Cyril Ramaphosa. I can honestly say, I recognised his face but didn't really know his position ( deputy president of ANC) neither did I know that he was once leader of the National Union of mineworkers, and once sat of the board of Lonmin. This conflict of interest is explored in the film.
It's such a sad tale. I really felt for those mine workers. They just wanted a decent wage.
If you watch this and still feel capitalism works, or don't feel sickened by violence, let me know. Because I think it will impact on you as it has me.
I was reminded of just how fortunate I am. When I see what others are dealing with I'm humbled by it. One miner said ( the one on the ground in green) that he thought he would die, and that he would never see his family again.. because of money.
No amount of money is worth more than human life, human love, and kinship.
I'm really enjoying this African film festival. I've learnt so much, and it's really made me think about things in a different way.
Such is the power of film.
Article on Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's involvement /non involvement [click]