21 Icons documentary celebrates our freedom

2015-04-19 15:00

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Thursday night saw the premiere of the 21 Icons documentary Promise of Freedom. Guests were requested to arrive at 5pm and the punctual ones were offered wine, a variety of cheeses, bread and dips. Screening was expected to start at 5.30pm, but got going a little after 6pm. Guests looking for an in-cinema snack of popcorn had to buy their own.

In attendance were some of the 42 icons profiled in the first two seasons of the series, including George Bizos, Peter Magubane, Kitty Phetla, Pops Mohamed, liberation hero Ahmed Kathrada and former minister Barbara Hogan.

Swazi Dlamini, granddaughter of struggle hero Walter Sisulu, was the MC for the evening and a short keynote was given by director Anant Singh, who was an icon in season two.

Speaking to fellow icons, Singh said: “We wouldn’t be here without your sacrifice ... and our freedom wouldn’t be here today without people such as yourself.”

Shot entirely in black and white, like the photo series by founder Adrian Steirn (who was unable to attend

the screening), the hour-long documentary took guests behind the scenes with actress Sandra Prinsloo, businessman Herman Mashaba, soccer legend Lucas Radebe, gold medallist Olympian Zanele Situ and former speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala.

In sentiments that seem a little out of place in contemporary South Africa, Promise of Freedom gives insight into the hope and optimism of these icons.

saying at once point “the fact that South Africans were so compassionate... The spirit of Ubuntu (in SA) is unlike anywhere I’ve ever seen.” Icon Grace Masuku expresses some concern in the documentary saying “people have become aliens to themselves.’ It’s a moving documentary, with a generous helping of Mandela love, and it’s certainly not for the jaded. The Promise of Freedom will air this evening on SABC 3 at 7.30pm.

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