‘Mugabe and the White African’ Sparks Debate Among Viewers About Imperialism and Racism in a Troubled Nation

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Mike Campbell from 'Mugabe and the White African'

Mike Campbell on his farm
in Zimbabwe, in Mugabe
and the White African
.

Each Friday, we post a selection of viewer comments relating to the week’s film.

This week, viewers watched a courageous “white African” defend his farm — in court and on the ground — in Mugabe and the White African. This powerful film elicited a wide range of reactions, sparking a viewer debate about the nature of racism, national identity, imperialism and the problems facing a troubled nation.

Read what POV viewers had to say on the Mugabe and the White African film companion site, Facebook and Twitter.

“This film is stunning. Perhaps Mugabe is the inevitable consequence of post-colonialism — the pendulum’s far side. However, to me this film reveals how vengeance — no matter how “justified” — will never substitute for justice. Equal protection and the rule of law must prevail, and the international community must support Africans as they work toward meaningful reconciliation, not retribution.”
— Kevin Farkas (via Facebook)

“This was a great documentary, truly moving. It’s an object lesson in racism: We should all remember, and failing to do so, be reminded from time to time, that racism itself has no color bar; that injustice respects no boundary, and that the pursuit of justice applies to all people in all places, all conditions, at all times.”
— Glen Adam Garcia (via Facebook)

“This was such a sad film, but ultimately informative and redemptive. The historical and current situation in Zimbabwe is atrocious; yes, in certain respects, Mugabe is reacting to the brutality of the colonial rule… The international court and international law are often our only recourse in a world of competing interests. If the Mugabe legal team felt that they had justice on their side, they would not have requested multiple delays and certainly would not have walked out of court before the contempt hearing. It says a lot about the Campbell family that they chose to take a stand for human rights. I liked that their legal team was multiracial. Human rights are universal — all people deserve to live with dignity and under a just legal system. The way forward in any country has to include safety of person and legally-obtained property. “
— Teresa

“Injustice is injustice no matter what form it takes. Did you listen to the message here? Brutal dictatorship is akin to Nazism. White , Black, or anyone one else…ethnic cleansing is wrong. Wait until they come for you…what would you do?”
— Janet Morris

“I believe it is horrible what happened to Zimbabwe in the past, but the oppression of the past is now being used as a tool used to brainwash the black people in Zimbabwe and make them hate the whites who remain there. This hurts both the white and the black people of Zimbabwe. The only people who gain from this havoc is Mugabe and his closest allies. If we could just learn from history and not repeat our mistakes (i.e. racism and violating human rights), the world we live in would be significantly more harmonious. “
— Concerned Humanist

“Inspiring and courageous example of true faith and how God-loving people act in an evil world run by evil men and governments. “
— Carole Buckner (via Facebook)

“@povdocs Watched Mugabe and The White African and it tore my heart to shreds. I have never been so emotionally shaken nor cried so hard.”
TheNowNextLater (via Twitter)

Mugabe and the White African is streaming online for a limited time. Watch the film and tell us what you thought on the Mugabe and the White African film companion site, Facebook or Twitter.


Ashlin Aronin
Ashlin Aronin
Ashlin Aronin is a 2011 intern in POV's Digital department. He is currently a student at Wesleyan University where he works as a videographer in the New Media Lab. Ashlin enjoys watching a wide range of films, but he is particularly interested in those which blur the line between truth and fiction. His favorite documentaries include: 1. Nobody's Business - Alan Berliner 2. Exit Through the Gift Shop - Banksy 3. Capturing the Friedmans - Andrew Jarecki 4. High School - Frederick Wiseman 5. F for Fake - Orson Welles