Whispering truth to power

  • Whispering truth to power
Genre : Biography
Type : Documentary
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2018
Format : Feature
Running time : 86 (in minutes)

The story of barrister Thuli Madonsela who stood against state-sponsored corruption to take on former SA president Zuma.

Jacob Zuma's presidency posed the most difficult test yet to the country's democracy. Filmmaker Shameela Seedat offers a powerful portrait of the country's public protector, Thuli Madonsela, who fearlessly "whispered truth to power" throughout the Zuma era.

This film charts the final year in office of South Africa's Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, as she attempts to bring justice to ordinary people.

In 2009 not a single member of parliament voted against Thuli Madonsela when she was nominated for the position of Public Protector. By the end of her seven year term, the political playing field had changed, drastically. We follow Madonsela during her final and tumultuous year in office, beginning with the landmark Constitutional Court case on the powers of the Public Protector, to Madonsela once again investigating the then President Jacob Zuma.

A film by Shameela SEEDAT

South Africa, 2018, documentary, 1h26 mins

Countries: South Africa/Netherlands
Year: 2018
Duration: 86 minutes
Format: DCP, Blu-ray 16/9, DVD 16/9, mp4 16/9

Director: Shameela Seedat
Scenario/Script: Shameela Seedat
Images/Pictures: Francois Verster
Son/Sound: Francois Verster, Shameela Seedat
Montage/Editing: Francois Verster
Musique/Music: Cornell Boshoff

Email: shameelaseedat@gmail.com

2019 | LAFF, Luxor
* Prix spécial du jury (Compétition Longs métrages documentaires) :
* won: Special Jury Feature Documentary Prize

2019 | Fespaco, Ouaga
* won: Etalon de bronze Documentaire (Bronze Stallion for Documentary)

2018 | 25th Hot Docs, TORONTO, Canada
* World Premiere
* won: Special Jury International Documentary Prize
TIE: "For its timely portrait of a bad-ass public servant who uses her office for good at a pivotal moment in South African politics, we co-award the Special Jury Prize - International Feature Documentary to WHISPERING TRUTH TO POWER."


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  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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