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South African Embassy Special Screening: “Soft Vengeance"

Personal story about the fight against apartheid will be presented at South African Embassy in Berlin

February 04th, 2015
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The documentary film "Soft Vengeance - Albie Sachs and the New South Africa" will be screened at the South African Embassy in Berlin on February 6. The event will start at 15:30 and admission is free. An open discussion with protagonist Albie Sachs is planned after the film screening.

“Soft Vengeance” tells the story of Albie Sachs a lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter. It deals with the dramatic events that subsequently lead to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Sachs has fought as a lawyer since his youth alongside those that wanted to end the apartheid. The government had him imprisoned and he was tortured by means of sleep deprivation. Eventually he was exiled. However, that wasn't end of the struggle. In 1988 he lost his arm and sight of one eye after a car bomb exploded, planted by South African security forces in Mozambique. After Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Albie Sachs was able to return to his homeland. He then helped to draft the new Constitution, through meetings with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and with the man responsible for the placing of the bomb in his car. Mr. Sachs was then appointed as a judge of the Constitutional Court.

When Sachs was recovering from the wounds inflicted by the car explosion he received a letter reading: “Don’t worry, comrade Albie, we will avenge you.” "What kind of country would it be", he wondered, "if it ended up filled with people who were blind and without arms? But if we achieve democracy, freedom and the rule of law", he said to himself, "that will be my soft vengeance.”

No less interesting is the story behind the construction of the Constitutional Court building pictured in the film. Albie Sachs and others recommended that the new Court building should be located in a prison building where both Gandhi and Mandela had been imprisoned. Albie Sachs also became curator of the Court’s unique art collection representing the themes of human dignity, equality and freedom. As he said: “The building was designed to be a continuing part of the freedom struggle, and to epitomize in its very openness and sense of humaneness, the values of human dignity, equality and freedom that lay at the core of the constitutional endeavor.”

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