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14 Up [electronic resource]: South Africa

Spotlighting the age of 14, this program continues the South African version of the famed British documentary series Up, in which participants are featured every seven years speaking about the society around them. From Capetown to Durban to Soweto, viewers reenter the lives of each youthful subject to learn about his or her goals, dreams, fears, and frustrations. Dramatic political changes have taken place in South Africa since the last episode was filmed, and it is clear that many of these young people are undergoing a transformation as well. Some are rethinking what they believe is possible or impossible in the future. Others are coming to terms with the darkness of the nation's past and their own previous attitudes, as when Willem looks back on his racist comments of seven years a [...]

7 Up [electronic resource]: South Africa

As you know, says Bonita, "whites are people too." The 7-year-old daughter of a Zulu chief in rural Natal, she beguiles the camera with quiet authority: "You see, there is only one difference between us. They speak English and we speak Zulu." Bonita is one of 19 children featured in this South African version of the famed British documentary 7 Up, in which young participants speak from their hearts about the society around them. Luyanda and Andiswa live in a hostel for migrant workers near Capetown. Lunga attends a "mixed" school in Durban and lionizes Nelson Mandela. With only a squatter camp in Soweto to call home, Thembasile and her grandmother subsist without electricity or running water. And what of the white children in the group? Their attitudes are often a far cry from Bonita [...]

South Africa [electronic resource]: Forest of Crocodiles

Like the crocodiles that carpet their country's riverbanks, some South Africans have never evolved beyond a primitive state that links survival with fear. Their homes are equipped with electric fences and hired security crews for the purpose of keeping out intruders - who would, of course, be black. This program explores the persistence of racist attitudes among white South Africans and also takes a heartening look at those who have overcome their prejudice. "How do you teach a child in South Africa not to be afraid?" asks Johannes, a retired white pastor who works closely with a black congregation. "It has been so emphasized in our history.

South Africa [electronic resource]: A Human Rights Success Story

After years of political violence by both the African National Congress (ANC) and the white minority government, leaders realized that they were locked in a mutually harmful stalemate. A negotiated settlement was the only way to prevent more bloodshed. Negotiations for a transition to majority rule opened in 1990 and, unfortunately, led to an increase in political violence. This episode explores how this violence threatened the transition to a multi-racial democracy. Judge Richard Goldstone discusses the conspiracy at senior levels of the South African security forces to sabotage the transition to majority rule. Also featured are excerpts from Bethany Yaarrow's film "Mama Awethu" about women in South Africa. Also, "Freedom Charter," a song about the struggle to end apartheid is perfo [...]

The Making of Sun City [electronic resource]

With Nelson Mandela still in prison after two decades and human rights abuses growing worse, more than 50 popular musicians came together in the summer of 1985 to take a stand against state-sanctioned racism in South Africa. "Artists United Against Apartheid" recorded an album to broadcast their boycott of the lavish Sun City resort, located scant miles from poverty-stricken communities suffering under the racist regime. This classic program is an expanded version of the original 1986 film that documented the recording of the Sun City album. The video features Steven Van Zandt, Miles Davis, Bono, Run-DMC, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Herbie Hancock, and many, many others singing the anthemic "Sun City" chorus and explaining why they chose to take part in the protest.

21 Up South Africa [electronic resource]: Mandela's Children

This documentary follows on from "Seven Up South Africa" and "14 Up South Africa." Filmmaker Angus Gibson returns to the 20 children he interviewed in his original films, learning that although the political struggle has given many of them opportunities their parents were denied, a tragic story has emerged. The youngster's biggest battle has been the war against AIDS and not all of them have survived.

Soweto [electronic resource]: Streetwise South Africa

During the 1970s, Soweto was the scene of some of South Africa's worst antiapartheid violence. "People were not allowed to be on the streets at night," recalls former journalist Martin Mamlaba. "The army would beat them up..." Reacting to these brutal methods, the township united against the oppression - but now the generation that fought apartheid has been defined by its bloody past, and with no education or formal training, gangs have flourished, law and order has broken down, and enforced segregation has been replaced by voluntary apartheid. This documentary provides an overview of Soweto's battle against apartheid as well as its social aftermath, and the efforts of social workers and clergy to offer the youth of Soweto an alternative to crime.