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Mugabe and the White African (2010)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 32
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: As much legal thriller as objective documentary, this account of a farmer's battle with Zimbabwe's regime serves as a powerful and emotional attack upon President Mugabe.

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 8
Fresh: 8
Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: As much legal thriller as objective documentary, this account of a farmer's battle with Zimbabwe's regime serves as a powerful and emotional attack upon President Mugabe.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 955

Trailer


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Movie Info

Michael Campbell is one of a handful of white farmers still left in Zimbabwe since President Robert Mugabe began enforcing his controversial land seizure program, an initiative intended to reclaim white-owned land and redistribute it to poor black Zimbabweans. Since 2000, formerly thriving farms that employed thousands, now sit derelict while poverty and hunger are rife amongst the majority of the country's citizens; but 74-year-old Mike refuses to back down. Set against the backdrop of the … More

Rating:
Unrated
Genre:
Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
,
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Dec 14, 2010
Box Office:
$4.5k
Runtime:
First Run Features - Official Site


Cast


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Critic Reviews for Mugabe and the White African

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (1) | DVD (1)

The result is part legal thriller, part five-hankie melodrama.

Full Review… | January 4, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

In a continent where despotic rule is not uncommon, there is little argument that Mugabe is the most monstrous of rulers.

Full Review… | September 2, 2010
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Bailey and Thompson managed to create a remarkably vivid portrait of a land and its people, while bringing us two unforgettable heroes in Campbell and Freeth.

August 13, 2010
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Compelling true-life story of the legal battle between a white farmer and the repressive Zimbabwean regime.

Full Review… | July 23, 2010
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Many viewers will leave "Mugabe and the White African" thinking that they have seen few, if any, documentaries as wrenching, sad and infuriating, and those feelings will be justified.

Full Review… | July 23, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

The film clandestinely captures marauders in action while embedding itself in the imperiled home of aging farmer Michael Campbell.

Full Review… | July 21, 2010
Time Out New York
Top Critic

The filmmakers leave massive and sometimes reactionary holes in a film that could easily have pled a more accommodating and sophisticated yet equally airtight case.

Full Review… | September 6, 2010
Nick's Flick Picks

The final hearing is the most extraordinary scene in the film.

Full Review… | August 13, 2010
Christian Science Monitor

Mugabe and the White African is cinema-as-journalism at its most aesthetically confident and humanely satisfying.

Full Review… | July 27, 2010
Slant Magazine

This portrait of a strident white farmer and his family in Zimbabwe is interesting for its close-up view of life there, but it skips too many details and ends up being morally ambiguous.

Full Review… | July 26, 2010
Film Journal International

This extraordinary profile in courage starkly bears passionate and brave witness as two flinty farmers stand up for their rights in a good vs. evil fight.

Full Review… | July 24, 2010
Film-Forward.com

Not highlighting the colonized history of Zimbabwe is a huge error for the one-sided doc that at times depicts the Black Zimbabweans as emotionless and racist savages. That said, it's a fearless film but do your own research to be fully informed.

Full Review… | July 20, 2010
BET.com

Outrage powers documentary on Zimbabwean injustice

Full Review… | May 2, 2010
Movie Habit

The film serves as a testimony on behalf of all of Mugabe's victims.

Full Review… | January 15, 2010
Sunday Times (UK)

[A] gripping documentary.

Full Review… | January 15, 2010
Observer [UK]

It excels as a courtroom drama, a tense thriller, a ringing call to arms, and, most of all, as a humbling portrait of the unflappable, indefatigable farmers and their families.

Full Review… | January 15, 2010
Independent on Sunday

Shot more like a thriller, this powerful documentary follows a white Zimbabwean family as they take on one of the most ruthless dictators in human history. It's both riveting and wrenching, and needs to be seen as far and wide as possible.

Full Review… | January 8, 2010
Shadows on the Wall

This is one of those documentaries that stays with you for years. The injustice infuriates and the story, simply and deftly told, breaks your heart.

Full Review… | January 8, 2010
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Mugabe and the White African

½

"Mugabe and the White African" is a documentary about Mike Campbell's fight to retain his commercial farm in Zimbabwe(ne Rhodesia) from being forcibly taken over by President Robert Mugabe, like those of other white farmers. And what Campbell goes through under threats of intimidation could definitely be thought of as a travesty. So, it is a shame that it is all presented with the subtlety of a tractor being dropped on your head. Mugabe is evil, we get it.(The documentary opens with stating that it had to be filmed under strict secrecy. Later there is a scene where Campbell is having a showdown with a government minister's son and they are both filming each other.) All that had to be done to establish this would be to show the beaten opposition candidates.

What "Mugabe and the White African" also required was a wider perspective and I think part of the problem does come from the white farmers who have an air of paternalism about them when claiming their indespensability to the local economy, implying that they can do a much better job than any black farmers. And according to a BBC report in 2000, the white population which is 1% of Zimbabwe controlled more than 70% of the arable land. That along with Zimbabwe's extremely racist past allows Mugabe to so successfully play the race card.

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Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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