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Icarus Film
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Ordinary People
A Day With the President
Produced by Harriet Gavshon
A Mail and Guardian Television Production
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Created to mark the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela's inauguration, this special episode of ORDINARY PEOPLE provides a remarkably intimate portrait of South Africa's leader.

Granted exclusive access to Mandela for a full day, the film spends 19 hours with the President, from 4:00AM to 11:00PM. Mandela is caught in unguarded moments, making off the cuff remarks, having a personal chat with PW Botha. The film even discloses what he likes to eat.

This footage is intercut with material filmed simultaneously of Mandela's personal secretary, his public liaison officer, and his housekeeper at his Pretoria residence. Together they become a fascinating document full of rare and unique insights into the workings of South Africa's government, and the man who heads it.

"The film conveys Mandela's stately geniality and bedrock dignity. Perhaps more importantly, it provides a sense of South Africa's evolving multiracial reality: a white judge helps Mandela swear in black cabinet minister; whites work for blacks (Mandela's housekeeper wants to make his official residence 'more ethnic'), yet blacks still occupy the most menial positions... A good addition to strong African and African American Collections."—Norman Oder, Library Journal

"Extraordinary!... A fascinating portrait."—Janet Smith, Star Tonight (South Africa)

"[Goes] where television had never been before... an excellent film."—Basckin, Sunday Tribune (Durban)

"[A] rare treat, a very special gift... Few South Africans would not agree that, in spite of our problems, we have been deeply blessed."—Janet Smith, Pretoria News (South Africa)


53 minutes / color
Release: 1995
Copyright: 1995
Sale: $298

Subject areas:
Africa, Biographies, South Africa

Related Links:

Related Titles:
Behind the Rainbow: An in-depth exploration into the recent internal conflicts of the ANC in South Africa, leading to Jacob Zuma's election as president.

Story of a Beautiful Country: A South African filmmaker travels in a mini-van taxi across his country with a hand-held camera. Topics range over controversial issues such as land, race, language, democracy, identity, and violence.

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