Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the 19th Century, South Africa began instituting the laws that would define the status of blacks as literal second-class citizens in a nation were they were the majority. In 1912, the African National Congress was formed as a political party and activist organization dedicated to stamping out the system of apartheid in South Africa. After apartheid was finally overturned in the early 1990s, the ANC found themselves voted into power in 1994, with the former outlaw group now dominating the nation's elections. However, despite their lofty and admirable goals, the ANC is a political party, and like most political parties rivalries between members of the organization can sometimes have serious consequences. Filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri examines the turmoil in the African National Congress and two of its leading figures in the documentary Behind The Rainbow. Thabo Mbeki was a pioneering figure in the ANC who was forced into exile and spent close to three decades away from South Africa, while Jacob Zuma was a self-made man who was raised with little education and spent ten years in prison before rising through the ranks of the ANC. While supporting the same causes on the surface, Mbeki and Zuma had different views, different backgrounds and a different philosophy about what was best for South Africa, and their conflict came to a head when the two men found themselves fighting for control of the ANC as well as South Africa's executive branch. Behind The Rainbow was an official selection at the 2009 BFI London Film Festival.
African, Apartheid, inequality, political-conflict, segregation, social-change, South-Africa, turmoil