Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony
Time Out saysThere's a chilling moment in this remarkable documentary when one of the architects of apartheid, Hendrik Verwoerd, says: 'We like to think of apartheid as a policy of good neighbourliness.' It would take another 30 years for South Africa's racial mass policy to be torn apart. Most scholars agree that the true catalyst for change was the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre. Nevertheless, it wasn't until 1976, when the government started to insist that non-whites learn school subjects in Afrikaans, that the apartheid system really began to crumble. White rulers were forced to backtrack, Nelson Mandela was released, the rest is history.What isn't so widely known, perhaps, is just how profound an effect song was to have on those black South Africans who otherwise held out little hope for the future. Unknown poets tweaked traditional songs into a political stance the people could identify with. 'The song became the organiser,' as one young African exile puts it. The authorities, however, were often oblivious to the lyrical content of this music, which gradually became ever more warlike. Using exclusive interviews with various expats and some rare, illuminating archive footage, this edifying documentary unfolds like a potted history of South Africa. It's tragic, uplifting, even funny; and the music stirs the soul.
Cast and crew
Lindiwe Zulu, Paul 'Rude Boy' Mnisi, Themba Mkhize, The Mini Family, Sophie Mgcina, Lydia Mashaba, Hugh Masekela, Peter Makurube, Mirian Makeba, Thandi Modise, Duma Ka Ndlovu, Golden Neswiswi, Nkosana Xulu, Vincent Vena, Johan Steinberg, Gail Smith, General Adrianne de la Rosa, Dolly Rathebe, Sibusiso Nxumalo, Sifiso Ntuli, Vusi Mahlasela, Itumeleng Mahabane, Andile Magengefele, The ANC National Choir, African Devoted Artists, Gerhard Botes, Audrey Brown, Jeremy Cronin, Sibusiso Lerole, Big Voice Jack Lerole, Sibongile Khumalo, Peter Khumalo, Ronnie Kasrils, Abdullah Ibrahim, Peter 'Commissar' Dimba, The Community of Diepkloof Soweto