Directors: Nicolas Champeaux, Gilles Porte

  • COUNTRY : France


The State Against Mandela and the Others is a documentary based on recently recovered archival recordings of the Rivonia Trial hearings in which ten leaders of the African National Congress were tried for 221 acts of sabotage designed to overthrow the apartheid system. Although Mandela took centre stage during the historic trial, there were nine others who, like him, faced the death sentence and were subject to pitiless cross-examinations. The film transports us back into the thick of the courtroom battles and attempts to redress the historic balance by putting Mandela's comrades centre stage. Using animated charcoal drawings to recreate clashes between the preening prosecutor and the collective accused, along with recent interviews and archival footage, the film includes powerful testimony from the Andrew Mlangeni, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed, Kathrada and Denis Goldberg, and shows how the defendants turned a trial aimed at dealing a knockout blow to the anti-apartheid movement into an indictment of white supremacist rule. The State Against Mandela and the Others is a reminder, says co-director Gilles Porte, "that all great things that happen in this world are achieved collectively."

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