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Mugabe and the White African

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Learn More About Historical Land Inequity and Redistribution

Mugabe and the White African follows Mike Campbell, a white Zimbabwean farmer, as he takes President Mugabe to court for human rights violations connected to a corrupt land redistribution program. Learn more about issues raised in the film as well as historical discrimination and land ownership in Africa.
  • Follow up a screening of the film with a panel discussion or teach-in on the historical legacy of European colonialism in Africa.

  • Convene a study circle to look at reconciliation strategies that nations such as South Africa have used to heal from longstanding social inequities or human rights abuses. Identify race, gender or ethnic inequalities that have existed or do exist in your community. Consider applying what you have learned about reconciliation to your community.

  • Examine how South Africa and other African nations have addressed land redistribution issues in pursuit of racial equity. Use what you learn to inform the creation of a set of recommendations for Zimbabwe.

  • Investigate historical land ownership policies in your community. Look at who was prevented from owning land in particular places; the consequences of exclusionary ownership policies on subsequent generations; and possible remedies for the resulting inequities.

  • Find out the current U.S. foreign policy approach toward Mugabe and Zimbabwe. Let your elected representatives know what you think the policy should be, particularly in relation to whether or not Mugabe should be removed by force, arrested and/or tried for human rights abuses.

  • Join local community groups and national organizations that are advocating to end ongoing human rights violations in Zimbabwe:

    Africa Action
    Africa Action is the oldest human rights organization focused exclusively on Africa. In partnership with activists and civil society organizations throughout the United States and Africa, Africa Action is working to change U.S. foreign policy and the policies of international institutions in order to support African struggles for peace and development.

    Amnesty International
    The Take Action section of the Amnesty International website allows visitors to sign up for Amnesty International's Zimbabwe blog to receive emails when new postings, including news and actions, are available.

    International Crisis Group
    The International Crisis Group is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.

    African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
    Established by the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, which came into force on October 21, 1986, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights is charged with ensuring the promotion and protection of human and peoples' rights throughout the African continent.

    The Take Action page of the Idasa website provides ways to get involved in building democratic societies in Africa, including promoting the African Charter on Democracy; signing up for the Right to Know campaign; getting involved in a reflect circle; joining a study tour; and subscribing to the Idasa newsletter.


Get informed about the issues in the film and lead a discussion in your community.

Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide

In Zimbabwe, de facto dictator Robert Mugabe has unleashed a "land reform" program aimed at driving whites from the country through violence and intimidation. Mugabe and the White African, much of which was filmed clandestinely, tells the alarming story of one family of proud "white Africans" who fight back. As an outreach tool, this record of the Campbell family's experiences raises questions about race, racism, human rights, international law, the strength of faith and family and, ultimately, the complex legacy of European colonization of Africa.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will study the land reform program in Zimbabwe and explain their ideas about whether or not white people today should be required to make amends for historical race-based injustices for which they were not personally responsible. Students will then apply their thinking to how the United States today might address racial inequities that have resulted from discriminatory policies and practices for housing and property ownership.

Reading List

Delve Deeper

This multi-media resource list, compiled by Sara Franqui of the San Diego Public Library, includes books, films and other materials related to the issues presented in the film Mugabe and the White African. Learn more about African history, human rights, and international law.

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We wanted to make a film about a big issue like the land reform program policy in Zimbabwe, but in a very intimate and personal way. ”

— Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson, Co-directors

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