The documentary, “Robert Mugabe… what happened?” directed by Simon Bright and produced by Michael Auret, had its World Premiere as the Opening Night film of the Encounters South Africa International Documentary Festival in Cape Town and went on to be the most watched film at the 2011 event, with additional screenings being added to accommodate the demand.

Billed as the definitive account of Mugabe’s life, it dramatically illustrates his successful liberation and development of the country but also his ruthless and cunning retention of power at all costs.

The film moves onto the Durban International Film Festival on the 23rd July then onto the Tri-Continental Film Festival in Johannesburg in September, with a limited theatrical run in South Africa, a UK premier and various international film festivals screenings scheduled for coming months.

Experts on Zimbabwe interviewed in the documentary include Trevor Ncube, Geoff Nyarota, Lovemore Maduku, Simba Makoni and the recently deceased Edgar Tekere in what was sadly his last ever interview.

Comments from audience members after premier at Encounters

“An amazing film, quite hard hitting… the title of the film is quite apt, what exactly happened to this revolutionary? Its very difficult for many  people who grew up in the apartheid era to reconcile the man that Mugabe is today with the hero that supported the liberation movements in South Africa and other countries. It’s a powerful film, and it’s quite sad as well to see what he’s doing to his people… It’s a film that more people need to see… maybe it’ll help South Africans understand why the Zimbabweans are in our country, like we were in their country when we needed help”

Thabo Bopape, C-TV

“The filmmakers took the question that is on everybody’s mind around the world and made an entire film about it, which is something that I think a lot of people haven’t had the courage to do because to film in Zimbabwe is something where you’re risking your life just to go in there as a journalist. Throughout the film I was wondering how they got all those interviews without risking their lives although they probably did. I thought it was a really great look at the personal life of Mugabe, because you read articles about the destruction of Zimbabwe and it just doesn’t make any sense, so it was really interesting to get that inside look. I left the film with a lot more questions than I went in with, and that’s a good thing. I thought it was funny at times, really interesting, and a lot of great music”

Laura Gamse, director.