Dear Mandela

August 13th, 8pm at the Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

Filmmakers Dara Kell & Christopher Nizza in attendance for Q&A!

90 min, South Africa, 2011


Best Documentary, Durban International Film Festival 2011



When their shantytowns are threatened with mass eviction, three ‘young lions’ of South Africa’s new generation rise from the shacks and take their government to the highest court in the land, putting the promises of democracy to the test.

When the South African government promises to ‘eradicate the slums’ and begins evicting shack dwellers far outside the city, three young friends who live in Durban’s vast shantytowns refuse to be moved. Dear Mandela follows their journey from their shacks to the highest court in the land as they invoke Nelson Mandela’s example and become leaders in a growing social movement. By turns inspiring, devastating and funny, the film offers a new perspective on the role that young people can play in political change and is a fascinating portrait of South Africa coming of age.



The screening of Dear Mandela will be preceded by an episode from Alex Jablonski’s Sparrow Songs, a project in which the filmmaker Alex Jablonski and cinematographer Michael Totten made and exhibited one short documentary per month, every month for one year.