In this day event we take you back to Johannesburg in the 1960s and the trial that changed South Africa. The Rivonia trial – called by many “The trial of the century” lasted from October 1963 to June 1964.
It brought Nelson Mandela to the world stage – his famous speech, declaring that freedom and equality was “an ideal for which I am prepared to die”, became a rallying cry for black people and set the young lawyer on the path to a 27 year prison sentence on Robben Island, his release (secured in part by international pressure) and his election to President of South Africa.
It could have been so different. Mandela and his 8 co-defendants faced the death penalty and it was Bram Fischer, a white Afrikaner lawyer, and his legal team who, at great risk to themselves, saved their lives. Little is known of “the others”, the other men in the dock and the legal team.
We hope to remedy this today.
When the judge commuted their sentences to life imprisonment, Denis Goldberg, one of the prisoners shouted to his wife, “Life! Life is wonderful”
The documentary film which bears this title, scripted and presented by Sir Nick Stadlen will be screened during the following week in our auditorium.
We are fortunate in having two outstanding speakers as guests for the 19th October event. Gavin Fischer is Bram Fischer’s great nephew and has been instrumental in keeping Bram’s memory alive. Until recently Gavin was a correspondent for the BBC in South Africa.
Kevin Ashman is well known as a great supporter of our cinema. We know him through the BBC2 TV programme ‘Eggheads’ but he is also a history buff who has won innumerable quiz competitions at home and abroad, including the World Quiz Championships, Brain of Britain and Mastermind.
To illustrate the talks there will be numerous film clips.
We look forward to welcoming you to this day course which is one of five events at the cinema to mark Black History Month.
Sat 19 Oct 10:00 to 15:00 (Auditorium)
Tickets £10 (Friends/Students £8.50)