Jan. 29 - Director Dara Kell shines a light on people living in shacks and their fight to save their homes in South Africa. Alicia Powell reports.
Nelson Mandela's mission to end inequality in South Africa continues to be the backbone of many organizations fighting for justice in the country. A documentary entitled "Dear Mandela" follows three members of the Abahlali baseMjondolo or Residents of the Shacks, as they attempt to save their homes and seek the public housing that was promised to them 18 years ago by then President Mandela. Director Dara Kell, who grew up as a witness to apartheid in a South African suburb, learned about the group in 2007 and set out to film a sort of love letter to her country. SOUNDBITE: Dara Kell, director, saying (English): "It's not really coming from a place of wanting to criticize. But more to question and to kind of just remind myself and my fellow South Africans of what the struggle was fought for. You know, there were tremendous sacrifices made during apartheid." Since 2005 the Abahlali has been trying to stop the government from evicting shack dwellers from their homes which we erected post-apartheid. With Mandela in retirement, Kell is hoping he will see the film and be moved to help. SOUNDBITE: Dara Kell, director, saying (English): "This is kind of saying. 'Here's where we are, you know, here's how we're living. We're living in shacks, we don't have water, we don't have sanitation, we need electricity, these basic human rights. And what do we do?'" "Dear Mandela" will make its U.S. debut on PBS on January 29th and continues to air across Africa.