Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa

Abby Ginzburg’s powerful documentary begins with grainy video footage of the aftermath of the car bombing that nearly took the life of South African activist, writer and lawyer Albie Sachs. Sachs lost an arm and his sight in one eye following the 1988 attack carried out by South Africa’s apartheid government. Most of Sachs’s life mirrors his homeland’s half-century struggle for racial equality. Born into a privileged Jewish family, Sachs was a teenager when he became a human rights advocate. Later, he became a lawyer defending both black and white South Africans against the country’s repressive laws. It wasn’t long before Sachs found himself locked up in solitary confinement as part of the racist regime’s attempt to silence all dissent. Sachs spent the next quarter century in exile, returning to South Africa in the dramatic days that swept Nelson Mandela into power. Rather than spend his exile years plotting a violent takeover, Sachs had utilized his time to help draft the country’s remarkably open and democratic constitution. Mandela subsequently named Sachs as one of the first members of his Constitutional Court. Ginzburg’s inspiring chronicle highlights Sachs’s lifelong pursuit of truth and reconciliation, which eventually led to a meeting with the man who planted the bomb that nearly killed him. West Coast Premiere
w/English Subtitle
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