How I Made: 'Elegy for a Revolutionary' (short South African film)

Based on a true story. A true confession of shame.

This is a true, personal story. As a student in South
Africa, I worked for many left-wing newspapers, where I spouted popular
left-wing dogma while working on behalf of the ANC/ARM movement. This short
film examines the motives of a group of young white students who turn to
violence to oppose the repressive Nationalist Government. At the core of this
account is one question: Can violence be justified as a way of opposing
tyranny, when we dreamed that we could help topple the apartheid regime by blasting down electric pylons and radio masts. We called ourselves the African
Resistance Movement. (Google)

The African National Congress (ANC) leadership had effectively been put away by the Rivonia trial and their armed struggle was underground. We respected them and wanted to play our part. I have waited 40 years to tell this story. The story
inspires moral and intellectual traditions. It is different from other
apartheid movies because it shows how taking sides with the oppressed blacks
prevented us from acting out this commitment while it narrates a history of the
white left in South Africa. In telling the story, I want to come to terms with
how we failed to live up to our moral positions as saboteurs and
revolutionaries. Our commitment did not know its own frailty. It was an
ideological fantasy. I also discovered a split between my personal self and the
political self. And I think it was this split which made it easy for us to turn
against each other.






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