Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival 2021
  • Sat 4 Dec 2021
  • 4—6PM
  • Len Lye Cinema
  • Rating: Exempt
  • In line with current New Zealand restrictions for cinemas, conditions of entry to all Cinema screenings under the Covid-19 Protection Framework are:
  • o Show Vaccine Pass
  • o Mandatory Sign-in
  • o Face coverings to be worn
  • A Session
  • Sessions starting after 5.00 pm weekdays and all weekend sessions.
  • General: $17.50
  • Student (with ID): $15.00
  • Child (14-) / Seniors (60+): $13.00
  • No phone bookings, ticket sales only in-store or online
  • B Session
  • Sessions starting before 5.00 pm weekdays.
  • General: $14.50
  • Student (with ID): $13.00
  • Child (14-) / Seniors (60+): $13.00
  • No phone bookings, ticket sales only in-store or online

Moving with the breathless intensity of a political thriller, this disturbing document of potential voter fraud in the 2018 Zimbabwe election is elevated by astonishing access to key players behind-the-scenes.

A power vacuum emerged in Zimbabwe following the ousting of long-term president-cum-dictator Robert Mugabe. With the promise of the first genuinely democratic election in the country in decades, two primary challengers emerged – former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and the young, idealistic outsider Nelson Chamisa. In the early stages of Camilla Nielsson’s documentary, a spiritual follow-up to her Zimbabwe-set feature Democrats (NZIFF 2014), Chamisa, an incredibly magnetic presence, drums up enormous grassroots support across the country, captured in vivid campaign rallies of enormous scale. Victory seems secure – until election night, when the forces of the established power begin to stir in the background.

Featuring remarkable on-the-ground access to Chamisa’s dogged team and their campaign first for victory, then for justice, President moves to the tune of a classic political thriller, with the highest possible stakes. The film finds disturbing echoes of more highly publicised political crises unfolding around the world, but also profound hope in its portrait of unshakeable determination in the face of decades-long oppression. — Tom Augustine

“...it’s the testimony of ordinary folk – the election monitor beaten over the head with an iron bar, for example – that makes Nielsson’s film so chilling. The casual violence, the stony, brazen-faced manipulation of truth in this African nation shows how difficult it is to get a foot on the ladder of democracy, and how tenuous that hold is – there and everywhere.” — Fionnuala Halligan, Screendaily

2021 | Documentary | 116 min | Dir. Camilla Nielsson |  In English and Shona with English subtitles

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