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Haringey’s hidden histories uncovered in cinematic celebration of democracy in South Africa

Date posted: 20.08.2014

Celebrate the life and times of Nelson Mandela this September, with a series of screenings from social enterprise Black History Studies. Supported by Film Hub London, the screenings at Vue Wood Green explore the hidden histories of Haringey and its links to anti-apartheid movements in South Africa.

Twenty years of democracy

With films including Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Behind the Rainbow, the programme marks 20 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa which ended apartheid.

It also highlights the  little-known connections between Haringey and the anti-apartheid movement, including the fact that the London borough became home for several exiled ANC members and that the first Mandela Birthday concert was hosted at Alexandra Palace.

“Nelson Mandela is one of the most recognised, iconic figures from the South African struggle movement” says co founder of Black History Studies, Charmaine Simpson.

Explaining the motivation behind the project, she continued: “Black History Studies aims to recognise such heroes in order to keep their legacy alive and educate the younger generation about those who paved the way before them. We would also like to pay homage to the unrecognised heroes of the moment such as the musicians and performers whose liberation songs played a central role in the movement against apartheid.”

All films screen at Vue Wood Green and standard tickets cost £5 

What's showing

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (Justin Chadwick) (12A)

When: Monday 1 September, 7.00pm.
What:  Starring Idris Elba, Mandela is the thrilling story of an ordinary man who rose to the challenge of his times and triumphed. It’s an intimate portrait of the making of a modern icon that spans Mandela’s extraordinary life, from his childhood in a rural village through inauguration as the first democratically elected President of South Africa.

Five Roads to Freedom: From Apartheid to the World Cup (Robin Benger and Jane Thandi Lipman) (cert tbc)

When: Monday 8 September, 7.00pm
What: Five Roads to Freedom follows five individuals: a former policeman; a young soccer star from the townships; a former warlord who denies the blood on his hands; the sister of a murdered ANC comrade; and a wealthy white lawyer who lost everything for inter-racial love. Each of their experiences serves as an individual expression of the country’s struggle to overcome its past. 

Behind the Rainbow (Jihan El-Tahri) (cert tbc)

When: Monday 15 September, 7.00pm 
What: Behind the Rainbow explores the transition of the ANC from a liberation organisation to South Africa’s ruling party, through the evolution of the relationship between two of its most prominent cadres: Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. Exiled under Apartheid they were brothers in arms, under Mandela they loyally laboured to build a non-racial stage, now they are bitter rivals. Their duel threatens to tear apart the ANC and the country – as the poor desperately seek change while the elite fight for the spoils of victory.

Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony (Lee Hirsch) (12A)

When: Monday 22 September, 7.00pm
What: This stunning documentary  tells the story of  the central role black South African freedom music played against apartheid. The first film to consider the music that sustained and galvanised black South Africans for more than 40 years, Amandla’s focus is on the struggle’s spiritual dimension, as articulated and embodied in song. Named after the Xhosa word ‘power’, Amandla lives up to its title, telling an uplifting story of human courage, resolve and triumph.

About Film Hub London’s Community Screen Scheme

The event has been made possible through a grant from Film Hub London’s Community Screen Scheme, an innovative funding opportunity for people showing films across the capital.

Through this Scheme, the Hub supports community programming initiatives which aim to reach new or underserved audiences in their local area.

Film London has partnered with Vue Cinemas to give locally organised community groups the opportunity to work with a larger commercial operator.

The next round of the Community Screen Scheme opens on 15 September, with the deadline of 31 October.

Committed to expanding the film culture offer across the whole of London and growing film audiences, Film Hub London is part of the UK-wide BFI Film Audience Network.

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