category Focus: Africa

V.O.

Shona

SUBTITLES

Romanian, English

PRODUCER

Upfront Films

ORIGINAL TITLE

Democrats

SYNOPSIS

Democracy in Africa is a difficult proposition, says President Mugabe. In 2008, when he is forced into a coalition government with his more liberal-minded opponent Morgan Tsvangirai, they agree that Zimbabwe needs a new Constitution. Two men from the opposing parties – ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change – will lead the countrywide grassroots consultations through which the Zimbabwean public is invited to take part in the process.

 

For three years, visual anthropologist Camilla Nielsson follows the two charismatic men throughout the country, with a remarkable level of access, capturing the difficult process of cross-party negotiation and citizen participation in a country with no democratic tradition. The men attend some 5,000 grassroots meetings – some of them peaceful, some riotous or manipulated by the Secret Police – held in urban and rural areas, where the people are invited to share their views on how they would like their country to be governed through the new constitution. The filmmaker avoids preconceptions regarding any of the parties or the delegates. Through an efficient and intelligent editing, which makes room for a wealth of micro-stories that add human depth to the political processes, the resulting film is a triumph – a substantial and lively chronicle of the effort made by two very different men who must work together, in spite of their political differences, to give their nation a new founding document.


The documentary has been "adopted" by Openpolitics.ro.

AWARDS AND FESTIVALS

2015 - Tribeca Film Festival, USA

2015 - One World Prague, Czech Republic

2015 - Göteborg Film Festival, Sweden
2014 - CPH:DOX, Denmark,Honorable Mention and Reel Talent Award

2014 - IDFA, Netherlands

2014 - Human Rights Watch Film Festival, UK