This is the only documentary feature film to have come out of Zimbabwe in recent years, where a total press ban still exists. Much of the footage was shot covertly. To have been caught filming would have lead to imprisonment.
Michael Campbell is one of the few hundred white farmers left in Zimbabwe since President Robert Mugabe began his violent land seizure program in 2000. Since then the country has descended into chaos, the economy brought to its knees by the reallocation of formerly white-owned farms to ZANU-PF friends and officials with no knowledge, experience or interest in farming. Mike, like hundreds of white farmers before him, has suffered years of multiple land invasions and violence at his farm.
In 2008, Mike, 75 years old and a grandfather - unable to call upon the protection of any Zimbabwean authorities and unable to even rely on the support of his fellow white farmers, all facing the same brutal intimidation - took the unprecedented step of challenging Robert Mugabe before the SADC (South African Development Community) international court, charging him and his government with racial discrimination and of violations of Human Rights.
This film is an intimate account of one family’s astonishing bravery in the face of brutality, in a fight to protect their property, their livelihood and their country. The outcome of the court case potentially determining not just the future that lies ahead for Mike and his family, but the future of millions of ordinary Zimbabweans who continue to suffer at the hands of a dictator who, in setting his own countrymen against each other, has demonstrated that he cares only for power.
On the brink of losing everything, Mike and his family (wife Angela, daughter Laura and her husband Ben Freeth) stand united by their courage, their faith and their hope. Mike knows the personal risk to himself and his family that this case brings. Whatever the verdict by the court, this audacious and unprecedented stand may yet cost them their lives.
- "Splendidly and often lyrically shot, this is one of the most powerful documentaries I have ever seen." Daily Mail –
- "This film is an unmissable portrait of courage under fire." The Guardian –
- "The film’s strength lies in its fearless reportage" Time Out –
- "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. " – The Independent
- "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." Empire Magazine –
- "Your lasting emotions are of respect for the two farmers, mixed with a lingering, helpless sadness" The Times –
All posts about this release from the dogwoof blog