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Miners Shot Down
Directed by Rehad Desai
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In August 2012, mine workers in one of South Africa's biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress it, killing 34 and injuring many more. The police insisted that they shot in self-defense. MINERS SHOT DOWN tells a different story, one that unfolds in real time over seven days, like a ticking time bomb.

The film weaves together the central point of view of three strike leaders, Mambush, Tholakele and Mzoxolo, with compelling police footage, TV archive and interviews with lawyers representing the miners in the ensuing commission of inquiry into the massacre. What emerges is a tragedy that arises out of the deep fault lines in South Africa's nascent democracy, of enduring poverty and a 20-year-old, unfulfilled promise of a better life for all.

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A campaigning film, beautifully shot, sensitively told and accompanied by a haunting soundtrack, MINERS SHOT DOWN reveals how far the African National Congress has strayed from its progressive liberationist roots.

"MINERS SHOT DOWN will come to be seen as one of the most important physical remembrances, not only of the lives of the men who were killed, but also of a shameful and cowardly chapter of our recent history."The Daily Maverick

"An unflinching account of the 2012 massacre of 38 South African miners in the town of Marikana."Variety

"While telling a specific story, MINERS SHOT DOWN… delivers a powerful indictment, holding South African President Jacob Zuma and his government responsible for the so-called Marikana Massacre. Recommended!" Video Librarian

"Give[s] voice to the disenfranchised masses. An important historical document and a call to action.”African Studies Review

Winner, Panafrican Film and TV Festival (FESPACO) Jury Prize 2015
Winner, Cinema for Peace Award for Justice 2015
Winner, Best South African Documentary & Amnesty International Human Rights Award, Durban International Film Festival 2014
Winner, Special Choice Award, Encounters International Documentary Festival 2014 
Winner, Audience Award, African Film Festival Cologne 2014
Paris Human Rights Film Festival 2014
New York African Film Festival 2014

86 minutes / Color
English / English subtitles
Release: 2014
Copyright: 2014

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Subject areas:
Africa, Business Ethics, Comparative Government, Comparative Law, Conflict Resolution, Criminal Justice, Ethics, Human Rights, Labor Studies, Law, Policing, South Africa

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Study Guide Available in Adobe PDF Format

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