DATE: May 11
Director/Writer: Shameela Sedat
Run Time: 88 minutes
Following this absorbing film, join us for the Celebratory Party in the Function Room at Event.
Here you will enjoy things South African – food and drinks and entertainment – all included in the price of $60
The night includes a short auction (think safari) – and silent auction items.
Be prepared for shivers down your spine as you listen to the exquisite voice of diva performer, ex Zimbabwean, Australian Idol, Madiba and Lion King performer, Tarisai Vushe.
The inspiring story of Education without Borders, our festival partner that we are sponsoring, will be told by Elise Fernandez –accomplished film maker and exceptional spirited woman from Bellville South!
A South African born woman who has been working in the film and television industry for the past 20 years, Elise is no stranger to the plight of single motherhood and shares her own experience of growing up in an abusive home, left to raise two sons on her own. In 2010, 3 days after her breast cancer surgery, Elise had no choice but to get herself out of her hospital bed to take on a production assistant role on a film called Dark Tide. Elise is a mature age student in Australia and serves as a committee member on the Sydney South African Film Festival.
Dr. Beth Goldblatt
We are privileged to have Dr Beth Goldblatt situate the role of the Public Protector office in South Africa
Beth is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney and holds an honorary position in the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She qualified as an attorney in South Africa and worked at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand for 13 years. Her work concerns human rights and equality with a focus on gender issues.
This film charts the final year in office of South Africa’s Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, as she attempts to bring justice to ordinary people. After successfully challenging President Zuma for illegal use of state funds, she now has to face the biggest challenge of her career: investigating – in the face of protests, death threats and legal challenges – the alleged systematic takeover of government by a private family in cahoots with the President.
But how does one weigh the importance of fighting government corruption against the larger moral crime of continued inequality?
WHISPERING TRUTH TO POWER documents the tense story of Madonsela’s last year in public office while simultaneously crafting an absorbing tale of an outstanding lawyer, mother and woman, and also providing insight into several critical issues facing South Africa today, such as ongoing inequality, racial tensions, land redistribution, and corruption.
Thuli Madonsela became South Africa’s third Public Protector – and the first female to fill this position – in 2009. The Public Protector, South Africa’s version of an ombudsman, is mandated by the Constitution to protect ordinary citizens from corruption and bad governance on the part of the State.
Soon after her appointment in 2009, this little-known public servant commanded nationwide admiration for her resolutely ethical conduct and consistent bravery in confronting a government increasingly troubled by mismanagement, patronage and corruption. Her best-known and most powerful adversary turned out to be the country’s president, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.
Between 2014 and2016 – and against all conceivable odds, including death threats, spy allegations, humiliation at the hands of parliament – she managed to force him to return public money unlawfully spent on the construction of his private home. Yet, despite becoming the embodiment of hope and protection for a vast number of South Africans, she also gathers enemies… Some feel that she is humiliating the political leadership; others criticise her for upholding a morally unfair system that emphasises the fight against corruption rather than the deeper problem of continuing inequality.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
“… a timely portrait of a …. public servant who uses her office for good at a pivotal moment in South African politics.” Jury, Hot Docs – Toronto
“In the relationship between the Madonsela women we see an intergenerational conflict that is steeped in love and doused in bitterness …. perhaps a perfect metaphor for the state of South Africa.” Sisonke Msimang – africasacountry.com
“… documentary filmmaking at its most relevant and powerful.” IOL
“This is a deeply South African story, but one that feels very much in line with this current historical moment around the world.” Christopher Vourlias – Variety