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First Run takes US rights to Mugabe and the White African

HanWay handles sales, and has previously sold to France’s Pretty Pictures.

First Run Features has taken on US rights to BAFTA-nominated documentary Mugabe and the White African and plans a July 23 theatrical launch.

HanWay handles sales, and has previously sold to France’s Pretty Pictures.

After a British theatrical run, the film will have its UK TV debut on May 18 through Channel 4’s True Stories strand.

The film is an Arturi production in association with Explore Films, Film Agency for Wales with the Welsh Arts Lottery Fund and Molinare Productions. Directors are Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson. Producers are David Pearson and Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock.

The film is about a farming family in Zimbabwe.

Arturi’s current slate also includes Richard Parry’s siege thriller Hollow Point (with Michael Wearing) and supernatural thriller The Hum, which Morgan Hemlock will coproduce with Pierre Evan of Canada’s Item 7.

Readers' comments (6)

  • Screening of "Mugabe and the White African" is more than just about a "farming" family in Zimbabwe.

    I doubt very much if your customers would still sympathise with this family, Mike Campbell and his son-in-law, Ben Freeth after watching them online.
    Mike Campbell and Ben Freeth show they real colours in their own series on youtube particularly the "interview" of Mike Campbell where he tells it like he sees it "if they want to eat they need to have white farmers":

    Zimbabwe White farmers (Pt 4&5)

    The land was grabbed by Mike Campbell, a South African army captain, who came to Zimbabwe from South Africa in 1974, in the middle of the guerrilla war against the black majority, just four years before the infamous white supremacist Ian Smith unilaterally yielded to international pressure to end white minority rule. Original Rhodesian white farmers have now all left or have complied with the land reform, Mike Campbell won't.

    Ben Freeth portrays himself as a victim of racial attacks but do not say where he and his family really comes from. Ben Freeth is the son of a British Empire military officer, they are men from the past, from another century, when people like Ben and his father came straight from the British establishment to rule the world.

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  • It is the tension between the abuse of human-rights that the white supremacists inflicted and Campbell’s claim, which, as far as I am aware, is valid, that he purchased the land post the Ian Smith regime with the consent of the Mugabe government that makes for uncomfortable viewing at the same time as highlighting the cultural and political complexities of post-colonial existence. Nevertheless, it is precisely these challenging issues and shifting sympathies - played out against allegations of ‘ oppressor’ turned ‘oppressed’ claiming foul - that make the film both so riveting and a contested cultural document.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • It is the tension between the abuse of human-rights that the white supremacists inflicted and Campbell’s claim, which, as far as I am aware, is valid, that he purchased the land post the Ian Smith regime with the consent of the Mugabe government that makes for uncomfortable viewing at the same time as highlighting the cultural and political complexities of post-colonial existence. Nevertheless, it is precisely these challenging issues and shifting sympathies - played out against allegations of ‘ oppressor’ turned ‘oppressed’ claiming foul - that make the film both so riveting and a contested cultural document.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Fact:
    Mike Campbell purchased the 3,000-acre farm during Ian Smith's regime in 1974.

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  • Film’s text on this point:

    1, Migration - The exposition made it explicit that Mike Campbell moved to Zimbabwe in 1974, and

    2, Acquisition - Campbell’s lead attorney for the appeal confirmed unequivocally on camera that Campbell acquired the farm “in 1980 after independence, purchased on the open market and on a certificate of no interest from the Zimbabwean Government” (4.08m, Chapter 4, DVD version).

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  • First fact:
    Mike Campbell purchased the 3,000-acre farm during Ian Smith's regime in 1974.

    Second fact:
    Mike Campbell purchased the 3,000-acre farm in 1999, from himself!

    Not in 1980 but 1999 and all very legitimate if it was not for the clear intention to dupe, mislead, hide the truth, give the illusion that the farm was not bought along all the others when the South African army captain arrived in Zimbabwe in 1974.

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