Film Reviews


By • Feb 3rd, 2015 •

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Justice is divisible; one administered to the powerful and another administered to the remainder of society. Regardless of the criminality of leaders who may be deposed or those opting out of their position, their end game is victorious. If disgraced, it is only temporary during the transition from fall from power until the passage of time endows their dignity fully restored. Within the ranks of rulers and military brass is the privilege of omission from memory supported by statements of, “I do not recall,” and the ever popular denial, “I had no knowledge.” F.W. de Klerk is a global leader who proves to be a master architect and a chess master. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is featured in the documentary, THE OTHER MAN: F.W. DE KLERK AND THE END OF APARTHEID.

South Africa made the news as host to the 2010 World Cup with the noisy vuvuzela blaring. Two decades prior, the world was abuzz with the release of Nelson Mandela, a political prisoner. It was the fight against apartheid in a battle of black vs. white. At the center of the tumultuous tornado of change was F.W. de Klerk. However, it is Mandela who is the face of change.

So who is F.W. de Klerk? Serving as South Africa’s President from September 1989 to May 1994, he paved the way for Nelson Mandela to lead the nation in a new era without the legal system of racial segregation. Depending upon who is asked, de Klerk is the pillar of sainthood or the embodiment of Darth Vader at the helm of a dark force supported by his death squads.

Reduced to its simplest form, the story goes as this: A white minority wished to protect their interests and placed the black majority under unjust oppression. Eventually, the ruling party was faced with economic sanctions. De Klerk, the leader of South Africa, bucks the system and sets the stage for the end of this oppressive regime leading to the Nelson Mandela presidency. Yet, this story is anything but simple and not one person is transparent.

Finger pointing and suspicion are expressed by the interviewees. Tears are shed as the brutality and deliverance of death by the government is relived by those victimized by apartheid – the atrocity that was born unto and aborted during the twentieth century. Archival footage exhibits the dehumanization of those fighting for equality who were continually trounced and trampled by their tormenting oppressors. Such callousness by the dominating force, as life is ripped from the bodies of people who fought to be treated with respect, now lie atop the soil of their homeland as discarded carcasses.

De Klerk offers his account and expresses his love for the preservation of his nation’s stability above his own safety and well-being. Toppling the very system in which he believed placed him in a predicament with his disaffected countrymen. He proved to be quite cunning and bold. There was another who was also calculating – and that man was Nelson Mandela.

THE OTHER MAN: F.W. DE KLERK AND THE END OF APARTHEID presents a picture of a nation’s epic drama. Mandela died December 5, 2013. F.W. de Klerk never was convicted or held accountable for a single death. Today, he continues to promote South Africa’s Constitution in an effort for racial harmony.

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