Directed by Rehad Desai • Documentary • 2014 • 86 minutes
In August 2012, mine workers in one of South Africa's biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress it, killing 34 and injuring many more. The police insisted that they shot in self-defense. MINERS SHOT DOWN tells a different story, one that unfolds in real time over seven days, like a ticking time bomb.
The film weaves together the central point of view of three strike leaders, Mambush, Tholakele and Mzoxolo, with compelling police footage, TV archive and interviews with lawyers representing the miners in the ensuing commission of inquiry into the massacre. What emerges is a tragedy that arises out of the deep fault lines in South Africa's nascent democracy, of enduring poverty and a 20-year-old, unfulfilled promise of a better life for all.
A campaigning film, beautifully shot, sensitively told and accompanied by a haunting soundtrack, MINERS SHOT DOWN reveals how far the African National Congress has strayed from its progressive liberationist roots.
"While telling a specific story, MINERS SHOT DOWN… delivers a powerful indictment, holding South African President Jacob Zuma and his government responsible for the so-called Marikana Massacre. Recommended!" —Video Librarian