Mugabe and the White African (2010)
Critic 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.
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 tumultuous 2008 presidential election, 'Mugabe and the White African' follows Mike and son-in-law Ben Freeth's harrowing attempt to take Mugabe to an international court for racism and violation of their human rights. It is an unprecedented case, upon which rests not only Mike and his family's future, but also the future of millions of ordinary Zimbabweans who continue to suffer at the hands of one of the world's most infamous tyrants. … More
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Critic Reviews for Mugabe and the White African
In a continent where despotic rule is not uncommon, there is little argument that Mugabe is the most monstrous of rulers.
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.
Compelling true-life story of the legal battle between a white farmer and the repressive Zimbabwean regime.
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.
Audience Reviews for Mugabe and the White African
"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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