The night Winnie ‘saw jus­tice’

CityPress - - Front Page - CHARL BLIGNAUT charl.blignaut@city­press.co.za

The stand­ing ova­tion lasted for about five min­utes as the cred­its rolled af­ter the African pre­miere of the film Winnie at the En­coun­ters SA In­ter­na­tional Doc­u­men­tary Fes­ti­val in Jo­han­nes­burg in June last year.

Winnie Madik­izela-Man­dela, the sub­ject of the film, was sit­ting in the packed au­di­ence dot­ted with Cabi­net min­is­ters in the SterKinekor theatre in New­town – and she was beam­ing.

“She was moved to tears at the pre­miere. She was speech­less at first, dur­ing the stand­ing ova­tion. There was so much emo­tion in the cin­ema and she was ini­tially over­whelmed,” the film’s di­rec­tor, Pas­cale Lam­che, told City Press this week, adding that Madik­izela-Man­dela hugged and kissed her warmly “and with great strength”.

Lam­che re­turned to the coun­try on Fri­day to at­tend Madik­izela-Man­dela’s fu­neral on Satur­day.

As the na­tion pre­pared for the fu­neral this week, the doc­u­men­tary trended on Twit­ter and got South Africans talk­ing when it was broad­cast on eNCA and e.tv, which won the rights to screen it ahead of the SABC.

In Winnie, Madik­izela-Man­dela an­swers her crit­ics and gives her ver­sion of his­tory that was dis­torted by the apartheid state’s stratcom di­vi­sion. Stratcom was used to gen­er­ate dis­in­for­ma­tion, pro­pa­ganda and smear cam­paigns against anti-apartheid ac­tivists, Madik­izela-Man­dela fore­most among them.

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­duc­tion team on the film, Lam­che was anx­ious ahead of the screen­ing, un­sure what Madik­izela-Man­dela would think of her film as it was the first time she was see­ing it af­ter be­ing in­ter­viewed on cam­era at length.

Af­ter the screen­ing Lam­che and Madik­izela-Man­dela had an in­tense chat.

“She said it was the first time she recog­nised her­self in a film. She said she was ‘in awe’. She thanked me for my courage and hard work,” said Lam­che, who said she was re­luc­tant to take too much credit or “blow my own trum­pet”.

Madik­izela-Man­dela “also said she couldn’t be­lieve what I’d man­aged to find”.

In the doc­u­men­tary, se­cu­rity branch op­er­a­tive and stratcom chief Vic McPher­son ad­mits that jour­nal­ists were paid to con­struct neg­a­tive re­ports about the strug­gle icon.

On so­cial me­dia this week many be­moaned that Madik­izela-Man­dela had not had a chance to watch the doc­u­men­tary that vin­di­cates her, but Lam­che set the record straight.

The or­gan­is­ers of En­coun­ters say that this year’s fes­ti­val, which opens on May 31, is an­other big year for women’s films, with some big screen­ings set to be an­nounced in the com­ing week.

THE DI­REC­TOR AND THE ICON Winnie Madik­izela-Man­dela and Pas­cale Lam­che share a mo­ment

PHO­TOS: EN­COUN­TERS SOUTH AFRICAN IN­TER­NA­TIONAL DOC­U­MEN­TARY FES­TI­VAL

THAT WIN­NING SMILE Winnie Madik­izela-Man­dela at the screen­ing

HUGS Winnie Madik­izela-Man­dela and Pas­cale Lam­che at the screen­ing

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