August 2012, Marikana. Workers from one of South Africa's biggest mines begin a strike against their employer, British company Lonmin. 34 miners are shot dead by police and scores more left injured after a six day strike. Playing out like a political thriller, Director Rehad Desai pieces together what happened in those six days through TV archive, police footage, interviews with politicians, the miners and the lawyers representing them. Miners Shot Down reveals a devastating picture of the mechanism of power in South Africa. The final sequence is an uncompromising and chilling depiction of the extremities of police brutality.
Miners Shot Down makes for uncomfortable but essential viewing as it carefully destroys the case set out by Lonmin, the police and the government. What emerges is collusion between the police, the state and corporate interests that leads to spiralling violence and the country's first post-apartheid massacre. South Africa will never be the same again.
Following the screening director Rehad Desai joined us for a Q&A.
"This haunting and emotional documentary is evidence of what unfolded in Marikana, unlike news reports, where one depends on the interpretation of someone else, the viewer watches the harrowing events unfold in front of their very own eyes." -Africa is a Country
Winner: Best S. African Doc, Durban International Film Festival, 2014
Winner: Camera Justitia Jury Award, Movies that Matter Human Rights Film Festival
Official selection: African Film Festival, New York 2014
Official selection: Sheffield Doc Fest, 2014