Friday, May 27, 2011

Mugabe and the White African

Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe said "then let me be Hitler tenfold" in a speech in 2003. That sums up Mugabe in one of his own sentences.

This intriguing documentary follows the story of a farmer who is fighting the Mugabe regime's efforts to take his farm and give it to important members of the government. We learn how all the farm owned by white people are being confiscated to be "redistributed" to those with powerful connections. All the surrounding black-owned farms are being left alone, only those owned by whites are being overrun. Mike Campbell, the farm owner, is fighting, in a multi-national court to keep his home and land. He bought the farm from the Mugabe government over 20 years ago, but they no longer recognize that sale. He employs over 500 people, primarily blacks, but the farm needs to be transferred for "justice".

This is a strong story of racism, governmental abuse and the never-ending saga of individuals attempting to live their lives without interference. The film makers took great personal risk in filming this story. It is both illegal and dangerous to show-up Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party. Mugabe runs the country, like any petty dictator, with slogans about justice all-the-while abusing his own citizens and getting rich off the backs of the people.

Mugabe and the White African is a powerful story. There are squeamish moments for the viewer, but the life of the Campbell's, and many other Zimbabweans, should be seen by the world.

In 1980 Stevie Wonder, in his song 'Master Blaster', sang "Peace has come to Zimbabwe". I'm sorry, but it is now 2011 and that is still not true.

Filmed in 2009, directed by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson.

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