With the UK election gathering media attention, it seems the public can’t move for seeing a politician desperately attempt to appeal to them in an interview or party political broadcast. Politics seems to be a tricky issue to convey as relatable and interesting to people, with some polls claiming only 41% of young people are expected to vote in the upcoming election. Perhaps the freedom of democracy may be something taken for granted? Documentary Democrats tells the story of the state of politics in Zimbabwe under vicious dictator Robert Mugabe and how the Zimbabwean people are fighting for a brighter political future.
The film starts by introducing the audience to human rights lawyer and parliament member for the opposition, MDC-T, Douglas Mwonzora. Mwonzora is shown as an ambitious man who is fiercely dedicated complete his mission of bringing Zimbabwe political freedom and democracy, even if he has to convert his enemies. The documentary plays out showing every aspect of Mwonzora’s political mission, alongside Mangwane, a member of the opposing party- ZANU-PF. The stand-off filming style allows the action to pay out naturally and give the documentary an honesty that is rare in modern cinema. The lack of interviewer interaction or commentary means that the viewer is allowed to create their own opinions about the men who are attempting to influence the people of this country.
The theme of hope is an integral part of the film; as Mwonzora travels the country attempting to listen to people’s concerns and wishes, it’s staggering to see just how much democracy means to the Zimbabwean’s lives. Some elements of the film are easier to digest than others and tragedy never far away, however the fact that the people seem so determined to make a political change and fight for democracy is an inspiring message that should remind viewers of how lucky they are.
Democrats does not yet have a UK release date.
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For further information about Tribeca Film Festival 2015 visit here.