In Zimbabwe in 2009, under Mugabe’s dictatorship, two men from opposing sides were given the task of forming a new democratic constitution. Director Camilla Neilsson gained access to follow these men in the three year process.
When you think of Zimbabwe, you usually think of an iron-fist dictatorship and unnecessary hardship. Director Camilla Nielsson has created a film that will allow inspiring and unadulterated insight into the country that is more than the sum of its dictators.
In 2009, Paul Mangwana of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and Douglas Mwonzora of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are both given the challenging task of writing a democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.
With rare footage filmed over three years, Nielsson produces a story of the politics of Zimbabwe – the people are pushing for freedom of speech, equality and to be able to live without fear on their land – but also a riveting and insightful commentary into the relationship between two politically-opposed who men must work together.
We follow the two political elites to see how far each must go to have their side heard and for a common ground to be built. They attend 5803 grassroot meetings held in urban and rural areas, where the public are invited to share their views on how they would like their country to be governed for the new constitution.
Some of these were peaceful, some fatally riotous and some were believed to be forced opinions under intimidation from the Secret Police with warnings of “specific measures against those who do not obey them”’. The suspension of meetings due to violence leaves them falling behind schedule, revealing the intelligence and determination of both men. It’s a riveting look at a meeting of different minds.
Democrats shows the pressure-fuelled games played in politics, media manipulation and the fight for a free democracy. A must see for a refreshing look on the progression of Zimbabwe and how this constitution could ultimately bring the beautiful country to a fairer and freer way of life.
Date: Thursday 5 February; 6:10pm
Venue: DocHouse, Curzon Victoria,58 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QW
Tickets: £9 (£6 conc)
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Camilla Nielsson via Skype