Thursday, December 3, 2020
Media Room

Documentary honours Rivonia Trialists 57th Anniversary


Former Judge of the High Court of England and Wales, Sir Nicholas Stadlen will be honouring the Rivonia Trialists in his documentary titled: Life is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes. It will be screened online by the UK Central Criminal Court and SA Chamber of Commerce in the UK on the 18th of November 2020.

The documentary marks the 57th anniversary of the Rivonia Trial. The Rivonia Trialists included Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Denis Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Lionel Bernstein, Raymond Mhlaba, James Kantor, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni.

Stadlen captured the personal experiences of the last remaining trialists and their defence lawyers, sharing the human stories and the legal arguments used in the trial. The documentary further highlights the details of dignity, bravery and camaraderie of the defendants and the defence team in vivid colour.

“The Rivonia Trial is the most important trial in SA’s history. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to meet these heroes and through this film to share their stories with the world and in particular with the younger generation of South Africans, many of whom know little about them,” said Stadlen.

“An ode to former SA president Nelson Mandela, the doccie captures the selflessness of the men, black, white and Indian, for whom their lives were of secondary importance to putting the apartheid regime in the dock of world public opinion. By choosing not to expose Mandela to cross-examination in the witness box they made death sentences more likely. They were bound by nothing more than the strong belief in equal rights for all, an ideal for which they were willing to die,” explained Stadlen.

“In a time where the world faces a new divide because of the global pandemic, I believe that so much can be learnt from these gentle giants about unity and selflessness in pursuit of a great cause. I look forward to seeing how the London City audience will respond to this amazing story,” he concluded.

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