France / Netherlands / South Africa, 2017 (MIFF 2017, Documentaries)

Director: Pascale Lamche

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been variously viewed as the wife of South Africa's most revered leader, the mother and/or enemy of her nation and a revolutionary force in her own right – Pascale Lamche's portrait of her earned the directing award at Sundance.

When Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in 1964, his then-spouse Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was pushed into the spotlight. Retaining attention on the world stage in the decades since has been the activist and politician's own doing, however. To some, she's a radical who deserves the persecution directed her way; to others, she's a beacon of strength in a space quick to dismiss a woman's influence.

Earning documentarian Pascale Lamche the World Cinema (Documentary) directing award at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Winnie peers behind the conflicting public perceptions, endeavouring to reconcile the rhetoric with the reality. Featuring an extensive array of archival footage as well as historical and contemporary interviews with Madikizela-Mandela herself, the probing film asks audiences to cast fresh eyes over its polarising famous figure.

'Inarguably valuable as a historical document, giving its still-fiery 80-year-old subject a generous platform to tell her side of a contentious story.' – Variety

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