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New documentary brings anti-apartheid movement to life

In the current issue of the Indypendent, I have an interview with Connie Field, the director and producer of Have You Heard From Johannesburg, an epic seven-part documentary series about the global campaign to end the racist apartheid regime in South Africa that will be opening at the Film Forum here in New York on April 14.

The film chronicles three generations of that struggle — from the early freedom fighters and the work of African National Congress (ANC) leader Oliver Tambo to the international campaign to boycott corporations operating in South Africa and impose economic sanctions on the regime — through some 135 interviews spanning 12 countries, including interestingly the perspectives of former apartheid officials and profiteering corporate executives, and archival footage from around the world.

After attending a recent advanced screening at the Ford Foundation of one part of the eight-and-a-half-hour series, which I thought was very moving, I spoke with Field about whether nonviolent action played the decisive role in bringing down the apartheid regime, why economic justice has eluded post-apartheid South Africa, and what activists today can learn from the anti-apartheid movement.

Check out the Q&A here, and try to make it to the movie if you can. As is always the case, the better the film does here, the greater chance it has of being shown more widely at theaters throughout the country.