Država proti Mandeli in soobtoženim / Le procès contre Mandela et les autres / The State Against Mandela and the Others

Država proti Mandeli in soobtoženim / Le procès contre Mandela et les autres / The State Against Mandela and the Others

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Synopsis

France, 2018, bw, 103', In French and English with Slovenian subtitles

2018 marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. He seized centre stage during a historic trial in 1963 and 1964. But there were nine others who, like him, faced the death sentence. They too were subjected to pitiless cross-examinations. To a man they stood firm and turned the tables on the state: South Africa’s Apartheid regime was in the dock.
Recently recovered sound archives of those hearings transport us back into the thick of the courtroom battles.

Directed by: Nicolas Champeaux, Gilles Porte
Written by: Nicolas Champeaux, Gilles Porte
Drawings and animation: Oerd
Animation: Mathieu Ratier, David Devaux, Vincent Escrive, Matthieu Gueritte, Antoine Presles, Loïc Espiche, Soukaïna Najjarane, Théo Gremillet, Vivianne Karpp
Music: Aurélien Chouzenoux
Sound Design: Élisabeth Paquotte
Editing: Alexandra Strauss
Voices: Denis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni, George Bizos, Joel Joffe
Producers: William Jéhannin, Julie Gayet, Nadia Turincev, Antoun Sehnaoui, Raphaëlle Delauche
Executive Producer: Omar Sy
Production: UFO Production, Rouge International
Co-production: Korokoro, INA - Institut national de l'audiovisuel, Arte France
Distribution: Versatile

The trial was recorded on an analogue audio recording system called dictabelts. This was a very supple vinyl that was rolled around a cylinder and was read with a stylus rather like a record player. The British Library tried to digitalise them in 2000 [...] but the result wasn’t very satisfying.
- Nicolas Champeaux

So after that, the recordings went back to gathering dust in South Africa until some French people came along with a recent invention called the Archéophone. This is a machine which allows dictabelts to be digitalised without ruining them.
- Gilles Porte

Henri Chamoux, the inventor of the Archéophone, had listened to the entire 256 hours of the trial into order to digitalise them. Just to give you an idea, that’s a bit like reading all of Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu. [...] I listened to two 30-minute extracts and straight away I knew that this was a gold mine.
- Nicolas Champeaux

There’s no film footage of this trial but when I met Nicolas, he showed me sketches that the wife of one of the accused had done during the hearings. The idea of 2D animation came quickly. The trial couldn’t be filmed but it could be an animation! I introduced Nicolas to Oerd, a graphic designer with whom I’d collaborated and whose work I admire.
- Gilles Porte

Awards and festivals (selection):
- Nominee for Best Documentary, Cesar Awards - French film industry awards 2019
- Audience Award, Durban International Film Festival 2018
- Selection, Richmond French Film Festival 2019
- Selection, FICCI Cartagena 2019
- Selection, Gothenburg Film Festival 2019
- Special Screenings, Cannes International Film Festival 2018

Film info

Directed by: Nicolas Champeaux, Gilles Porte
Production: UFO Production, Rouge International
Festival programme: Animated Feature Films
Year: 2018
Length: 103'
Country: France

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