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Friday, June 13, 2014

AFJ to host reception for filmmaker Abby Ginzberg

Join us to preview the new film, Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa

By Julius Goldberg-Lewis, AFJ Outreach Intern

 “All revolutions are impossible until they happen.  Then they become inevitable.”
--Albie Sachs
On Friday, June 20th, Alliance for Justice will host a reception for Abby Ginzberg.  During the reception Abby will present clips of her new film, Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa. The film chronicles the extraordinary story of Albie Sachs’ journey through imprisonment, assassination attempts, his place on the South African Constitutional Court, and his authorship of a new South African Constitution. RSVP here.

 The story of Albie Sachsis one of struggle and triumph against Apartheid South Africa, where violence, oppression and injustice were a daily reality. A lawyer by trade, Sachs defended his clients against the racial laws that existed at the time. He continuously fought against apartheid and because of this, was tortured, imprisoned in solitary confinement, and eventually exiled. During his exile in Mozambique,  South African security forces planted a bomb in his car.  He survived, but lost  an eye and an arm.

There were those who promised vengeance against the perpetrators of the attack, but Sachs had a different end in mind. After the release of Nelson Mandela, Sachs was able to return to South Africa and exact his ‘soft vengeance.’ The vengeance that Albie Sachs sought was not harm to those who tried to kill him, but a new constitution enshrining the egalitarian values, which apartheid  sought to destroy. Sachs was nominated by Mandela to be one of the first 11 justices on the South African Constitutional court.  Serving on that  Court for 15 years, Sachs had the opportunity to continue to shape the constitution and direction of South Africa.

SoftVengenceIn telling the story of Albie Sachs, award-winning filmmaker Abby Ginzberg presents not only the story of Sachs’ fight for justice and equality, but also a personal narrative of how Sachs viewed his work as a form of art. 

Ginzberg highlights Sachs’ lifelong love of art and music, which drove him to be the Chief Curator for the Constitutional Court and dramatically influenced what he hoped to see in the new South Africa. For Sachs, human dignity, equality, art and music all come from the same wellspring, and Ginzberg’s film presents a unique picture of how that philosophy was able to shape the future of South Africa.

Ginzberg will be screening Soft Vengance at AFI Docs in Silver Spring, MD on June 10.  Afterwards she will screen excerpts  at Alliance for Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C., during a reception cosponsored by The Institute for Policy Studies and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.  Refreshments will be served during the reception and guests will have a special opportunity to chat with the filmmaker.   The reception is free and open to the public, but guests are asked to rsvp.

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