Festival year: 2014
Reconstruction of the events surrounding the Marikana miners’ strike in August 2012, where poorly paid South-African employees of the British Lonmin mine went on a strike to peacefully call for higher wages. The documentary reconstructs the brutal police clampdown using unprecedented footage of the seven days leading up to the fatal event.
The miners felt abandoned by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which they accused of being in league with the mining company. What started off as a peaceful protest ended in a bloody battle, killing no less than thirty-four miners. The filmmakers come up with unprecedented footage showing how police officers start shooting at the crowd without any reason, belying earlier statements from the police that the officers acted in self-defense. The authorities are still searching those responsible for the police violence. An eye-opening documentary revealing that violence and corruption are rife in South Africa’s badly functioning democracy.
South Africa 2013, 83 min.
Spoken language: English, Zulu
Official website: http://www.minersshotdown.co.za