Filmed during the closing stages South Africa's Constitutional Assembly, THE DEADLINE is an inside look at the realpolitik negotiations.
May 10th, 1996 was chosen by the major South African political parties as the deadline for the new constitution. Following the first democratic elections (April, 1994), the ANC-led parliament set about the two year task of creating a blue-print for an apartheid-free society, a blueprint that was to include a set of inalienable rights.
By the final four weeks most of the Constitution had been written, but disputes over a few key issues - property rights, labor rights, education, language. - remained.
Tension grew as the deadline loomed, and the playful cameraderie that had characterized much of the negotiations gave way to open antagonism, accusations, and counter accusations. A deadlock over outstanding issues continued until the final night, threatening to derail the transition to democracy.
THE DEADLINE, commissioned by the Constitutional Assembly, provides a unique behind-the-scenes look at one of the most historic and dramatic constitutional processes of the 20th century.
"An in-depth, intimate view of the exciting and critical final period in the writing of the new South African constitution... exceedingly informative... of great interest to scholars of contemporary South Africa."—Educational Media Reviews Online