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Robert Mugabe... what happened?

Review of a film about the African dictator.

Following showings in Cardiff and Swansea, the internationally-acclaimed film Robert Mugabe... What Happened? was screened at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on
20 May.

Prior to the film, Côr Gobaith, the local activist choir, sang a selection of African freedom songs for the gathering audience.

The film is complex and compelling, interweaving the story of Zimbabwe’s first 30 years with the personal journey of Robert Mugabe.

From much-admired, bright young Turk of the liberation struggle, through the early hopeful years of independence, to his current pariah status, Mugabe emerges as a canny, devious leader determined to hold on to power, come what may.

Spliced with a nice mix of Zimbabwean music, this haunting biographical film skillfully interweaves pertinent newsreel footage with first-hand accounts of Mugabe’s early life to chart the Shakespearean rise and fall of a man who has tragically destroyed so much of what he fought for and built. 

Following the film, Dr Carl Death from Aberystwyth University International Politics Department facilitated an audience discussion with the film’s screenwriter Ingrid Sinclair.

There is a trailer for the film here.