Winner of Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival, this is a fascinating portrait of South Africa's ‘mother of the nation' Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Winnie's profile is very different from that of her revered husband of 38 years, Nelson Mandela. Her legacy is tinged with disgrace and controversy. Lamche's comprehensive documentary allows the now 80-year-old to tell her side of the story; including her involvement with the African National Congress, her militant activism, engagement with youth and women, and steadfastness during Nelson's long-years in captivity. Conversely, there's her purported involvement in the death of a 14 year-old activist, and fractious engagement with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Featuring archival clips as well as interviews with diplomat daughter Zindzi, biographers, journalists, lawyers – and the fierce protagonist herself.

If behind many a great man stands a woman to match, then behind Nelson Mandela lurks a complicated and compelling figure indeed. – Sarah Ward, Screen International

There may be no life in South African politics more narratively riveting than that of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Her ex-husband Nelson may have the more grandly heroic arc, having endured 27 years in captivity to bring democracy to his nation, but her parallel story – one that includes triumph, disgrace and exile, the worshipful embrace of one population sector and the moral disgust of another, complete with a still-disputed murder mystery  is the stuff of true cinema. – Guy Lodge, Variety

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Pascale Lamche

France, South Africa, The Netherlands

98 mins




Pascale Lamche

Christoph Jörg

Olivier Raffet, Felix Meyburgh

Giles Gardner

International Documentaries, Africa, Politics & Economics, Festival Award Winners, Women

World Sales: Cinephil