Endgame (UK, 2009)

Talking to the end

Talking to the end

I hesitate to suggest that this film, premiered in the UK on Channel 4 last month, reveals the hidden story behind the dismantlement of apartheid as it my just be new to me. But this dramadoc (Chiwetel Ejiofor, above, is playing Thabo Mbeki) focuses on the ‘behind the scenes’ meetings between the ANC and representatives of the racist government hosted by Consolidated Gold(!); the company recognising that it could only continue to make money in a stable S.Africa, which meant black majority rule.

This has a great cast: William Hurt, Mark Strong and Johnny Lee Miller, like Ejiofor, are all potent in their roles. Sympathies to the script writer and director, in that it is difficult to make drama out of table-bound discussion, but they do a pretty good job.

Who’s the audience? It’s always important to tell political tales, otherwise we’re swamped in consumerist pap. For those of us who remember apartheid, this is a fascinating insight into how it all ended. I’m not sure, however, how much sense young people will be able to make of the events.

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