RFK in the Land of Apartheid
Using never before seen archival footage, and interviews in South Africa and the United States, filmmakers Larry Shore and Tami Gold tell the unknown story of Robert Kennedy's 1966 visit to South Africa during the worst years of Apartheid. The film evokes the connections between the American Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa. The filmmakers find witness to this special moment in time through the sights and sounds of present-day South Africa.
RFK in the Land of Apartheid follows Senator Kennedy to the site of his famous "Ripple of Hope” speech at the University of Cape Town and his encounter with Afrikaans students at Stellenbosch, the pro-Apartheid university.
A high point of the film is Kennedy's meeting with one of the unknown giants of African history - the banned President of the African National Congress, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chief Albert Lutuli - living under house arrest in a remote rural area. The film travels with Robert Kennedy to Soweto, South Africa's largest black township, where he meets thousands of people and gives voice to Chief Lutuli's silenced call for a free South Africa.
We witness Kennedy publicly challenging the dominant Cold War idealogy that anti-Communism,
espoused by repressive regimes like that in South Africa, should be the only factor determining
American foreign policy.
With an original soundtrack by American musician Jason Moran and voices from the University
of Cape Town Africa Choir, the film tells an unusual story through the words and actions of an
American politician whose legacy continues to advance human rights around the world.
Produced by Larry Shore
Directed by Tami Gold & Larry Shore
Edited by Harry Kafka
Cinematography by Tami Gold & Edin Velez
© Shoreline Productions, 2009--Length (56 min.)
At the Ranch on-line assembly and color correction plus a new opening were cut for PBS delivery