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THE LEADER, HIS DRIVER, & THE DRIVER'S WIFE

UK, 1991 (MIFF 1991, Documentaries)

Director: Nick Broomfield

A black comedy about the white right in South Africa. The Leader, His Driver and The Driver's Wife, examines issues of white racism from the oblique angle of the innocent documentary maker abroad. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield set out to make a film in the spirit of Springtime for Hitler about extreme right winger Eugene Terreblanche, referred to as the 'Leader' by his followers in the militant Afrikaaner Werstard Bewging Party. Obtaining a face to face interview with Terreblanche however proves harder than at first imagined. He has a profound mistrust of the media, and is famous for throwing journalists out of his office if he finds a question insulting or stupid. In an attempt to obtain the interview, Broomfield strikes up a friendship with the "Leader's" driver J.P. Meyer and his wife Anita, who devote themselves to setting up the meeting. Meyer is a militant who has just spent three months in jail suspected of terrorist activities. Anita is a health visitor who distributes condoms to blacks. They and their friends and neighbours become the true subject of this film - a portrait of white racist attitudes in small town provincial South Africa. Broomfield's audacious and amusing documentary style illuminates both the sinister and comic sides of Terreblanche and the AWB. Nick Broomfield's (1989 Festival guest) documentary films include (with Joan Churchill) Soldier Girls, Chicken Ranch, Tattooed Tears, Lily Tomlin (then solo), Driving Me Crazy, Juvenile Liaisons 2 - a sequel to his early film Juvenile Liaison that was banned in 1975. His first feature film Diamond Skulls was recently released in Australia. (NH)

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