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PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

DEMOCRATS

12:302:404:507:109:20

Through Tuesday, December 1

DIRECTED BY CAMILLA NIELSSON

Inside the political process in Zimbabwe, a nation tyrannized by Robert Mugabe’s corrupt dictatorship since 1980.  Camilla Nielsson’s prize-winning cinema-verite documentary eviscerates what passes for progress as two politicians -- representing the status quo and the democratic opposition – face off in their efforts to write a new constitution. Writes Guy Lodge, in Variety: “The result, filmed over three years, with an astonishing level of internal access, is at once important and impishly entertaining, brightened by the kind of eccentric local color that cannot be forged or imagined… What should be the stuff of furious political satire, then, is instead presented as untampered reality…a rare, vital snapshot of a democracy still very much in the planning stages.” The cynicism, brutality, and sheer vulgarity of the man who has presided over Zimbabwe’s economic decline (from one of the strongest in Africa to the weakest) and its appalling human rights record, is not something you will easily forget.

DENMARK • 2014 • 100 MINS. • IN ENGLISH AND SHONA WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Reviews

“Intimate and suspenseful. As excellent a documentary about politics as you will ever see… (with) terrifying power... Astonishments come steadily. (Made with) rare and thrilling access.” 
– Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

*****! 5 STARS!
CRITIC’S PICK.
“Essential. Paced like a courtroom thriller. A scrappy, absorbing tribute to the pragmatic value of compromise.”

– Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

“CRITIC’S PICK! Outstanding. Ms. Nielsson and her crew had exceptional access to the two men steering the constitutional process… bothcharismatic fellows (put) through some fascinating changes. The portrait of passionate people struggling to improve their government isurgent, vivid… inspiring and upsetting. DEMOCRATS is, finally, a film that deserves to be called ‘necessary.’”
 – Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

“As tense as a well-wrought thriller. Gives us intimate access to the three-year negotiation between the leader of the party propping up Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe and the opposition candidate. Most remarkable is the respect the two men show each other.”
– Amy Taubin, Film Comment

“MESMERIZING! (It) may be about one volatile country’s experiment with democracy, but it has a lot to say about how politics works in every part of the world.”
– Bilge Ebiri, Vulture/New York Magazine online
Click here to read full review