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'Mugabe and the African Farmer' Documentary Garners Critical Praise, Awards

  • Gibbs Dube

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (file photo)

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (file photo)

'Mugabe and the White African,' tells the story of a white commercial farmer battling to keep his farm while under siege from militia loyal to President Robert Mugabe. It recently was named best documentary at the 2009 British Independent Film Awards

A new documentary on land reform in Zimbabwe called ‘Mugabe and the White African’ is set to open in London on Friday amid enthusiastic reviews likening it to non-fiction movies that have achieved global success.

The film tells the story of a white commercial farmer battling to keep his farm while under siege from militia loyal to President Robert Mugabe. It recently was named best documentary at the 2009 British Independent Film Awards.

A Financial Times reviewer wrote this week of the film: "Harrowing, unsparing, incensing and often, as an example of courage beyond the call, inspiring."

The documentary shows how Mike Campbell’s family, his son-in-law Ben Freeth and their Zimbabwean workers battled to defend Mount Carmel Farm, some 130 kilometers southwest of Harare, where they Had lived for more than 30 years, from militia members of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

The Campbell family lost the farm despite having secured a favorable ruling in a Southern African regional court in Namibia against the government.

Documentary co-director Lucy Bailey told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the documentary, which some likened to "Fahrenheit 911" and "Touching the Void," has been short-listed for the Academy Awards or Oscars.

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