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The Man Who Drove With Mandela

Produced in Association with Channel Four (UK), AVRO (Netherlands), SA Broadcasting, VRT-CANVAS (Belgium), Corporation for Public Broadcasting (USA). The London Production Fund, the British Film Institute and South African Department of Arts and Culture Available in 35mm, Beta, VHS (55 mins & 85 mins versions) In 1962, at the height of oppression in apartheid South Africa, a gay white theatre Director was arrested with Nelson Mandela. His name was Cecil Williams. This is his story.

This film is an unusually revealing portrait of one of the historic figures behind Nelson Mandela's long struggle for freedom in South Africa. In the early 60s, Mandela traveled incognito across South Africa, orgainizing armed rebellion against the apartheid regime. Driving a gleaming Austin Westminster, Mandela was disguised as the chauffeur for an elegant, impeccably dressed white man. That man was Cecil Williams - a leading Johannesburg theater director, a committed freedom fighter and a gay man. Starring Corin Redgrave, "The Man who Drove with Mandela," blends dramatized accounts of key incidents in William's life with archival footage, home movies and contemporary interviews to tell the story of the personal and political bravery of a forgotten hero.

1998 - 84 mins
Featuring Corin Redgrave as Cecil William
Produced and directed by Greta Schiller
Written and researched by Mark Gevisser
Production: Mark Gevisser and Beulah Films (South Africa)

 

Film reviews:

The red fag of the Fifties
Mail & Guardian, 23 October 1998
Matthew Krouse
[PDF]

Fag-hags, Porn Stars and the gay Mandela Drove
Sunday Times, 1 November 1998
Barry Ronge
[PDF]
 
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