School of Arts

Mandela 100 Celebrated Through Film

An Act of Defiance and Celebrating Mandela One Hundred form part of DIFF 100th Nelson Mandela anniversary celebrations.
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To honour the 100th anniversary birthday celebrations of the former South African President, Nelson Mandela, the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will present three films that provide fascinating insights into the late giant’s life.

The DIFF, which is organised by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) in the College of Humanities takes place from 19 to 29 July and will feature Celebrating Mandela One HundredAn Act Of Defiance and The State Against Mandela and the Others.

Celebrating Mandela One Hundred is a documentary feature produced and conceptualised by Anant Singh and made with the support and endorsement of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The film traces Mandela’s life from his roots in the rural village of Mveso to his rise as one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen.

The documentary explores both the personal and political aspects of the icon’s life by featuring exclusive interviews with family members, close friends, comrades, politicians and international celebrities.

An Act of Defiance, directed by Jean Van De Velde, tells the story of Bram Fischer who managed to reconcile his white Afrikaner roots with his desire for justice; joining the struggle against apartheid out of principle. He defended Mandela and his comrades in the Rivonia Trial of 1963 and 1964 – playing a crucial role in preventing ANC leaders from being sentenced to death – and was an underground guerrilla at the same time.

The State Against Mandela and the Others, directed by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte, is a documentary based on recently recovered archival recordings of the Rivonia Trial hearings. 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 goes back into the thick of the courtroom battles and attempts to redress the historic balance by putting Mandela’s comrades in the centre stage. State Against Mandela and the Others is a reminder, says co-director Porte, ‘that all great things that happen in this world are achieved collectively.’

The Full programme for DIFF can be downloaded at

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