Ordinary People: The Peacemakers
Directed by Clifford Bestall • Produced by Harriet Gavshon • Documentary • 1993 • 26 minutes
During the fraught transition period to democracy in South Africa, the first episode of ORDINARY PEOPLE filmed two competing rallies held in Vosloorus township to commemorate the Sharpeville massacre of 1960. Historically an occasion for demonstrations of unity and resistance to apartheid, this day became more dramatic when separate opposing assemblies were convened by both the Inkatha Freedom Party, and the African National Congress.
ORDINARY PEOPLE followed four people throughout that one day: Gertrude, an Inkatha-supporting Peace monitor; Faith, her ANC counterpart; David, an organizer for the regional peace committee; and Clive, a policeman. As the day progresses, the truce between the warring parties is continually tested, even while all work determinedly to keep at bay the violence that has marked the conflict between these parties.
ORDINARY PEOPLE was the first independently produced documentary series in the history of South African TV. It was broadcast in prime-time from 1993 to 1995.