Documentary Provides Glimpse Into the Life of Struggle Hero Albie Sachs
Applause filled UKZN’s Highoward College Theatre after the recent screening of a documentary, Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa.
The 80-minute emotionally charged film, directed by renowned film maker Ms Abby Ginzber, documents the sequence of events in the life of lawyer and civil rights activist Sachs, during the apartheid era, when he helped fight for a free South Africa.
The film follows Sachs journey of imprisonment, torture, exile and the 1988 car bomb planted by South African security forces in Mozambique which cost him his right arm and sight in his left eye.
The documentary explores the value of human dignity, equality, freedom and the critical role Sachs played in architecting South Africa’s constitution.
School of Law academic, Professor Karthy Govender, who has worked with Sachs and reviewed his book: The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law, describes him as an extraordinary man with an indomitable spirit who forgives, something all South Africans can learn from.
‘This story is a call for those in power to do better and it could not have come at a better time as we all need a bit of inspiration,’ said Govender.
Sachs advised the audience to treasure their rights and use them to address the country’s challenges.
‘The Constitution is not just a piece of paper, it transformed the country. In South Africa we have our freedom but we still don’t have our security. If people are dissatisfied with what is happening now, they should use their rights to change things,’ he said.
Ginzberg said sharing Sachs’s history with South Africa was very important to her and she had learned a lot through screening the film all over South Africa.
After the screening, the audience were given an opportunity to interact with Sachs and Ginzberg.
Fomer School of Law academic, Professor Ramanlal Soni, said when he saw the film and what Sachs stood for, it evoked the feeling of humanness which is what Gandhi advocated.
High school teacher, Ms Fiona Khan, said it was an opportunity to ensure pupils were not left out of this ‘wonderful learning curve’ by having special screenings for young people.
SRC member, Mr Mduduzi Mubiana, asked Sachs to share his wisdom with the student representative body on how it could address issues of inequality in education to avoid student protests.
The night concluded with audience members taking the opportunity to get their books signed by Sachs and posing for photos with him.