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INDEPENDENT LENS: Behind The Rainbow

Airs Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Over two tumultuous decades, South Africa has finally arrived on its own bumpy road to democracy. This program presents a previously untold account of the country’s political problems, struggles and realities. Pictured: Thabo Mbeki (left) and Jacob Zuma.

More than a decade after the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, South Africa is slated to become the host of the World Cup — a public affirmation of its break with its violent legacy of apartheid. But while the founding Freedom Charter of the African National Congress (ANC) outlined ideals for “a better life for all,” harsh inequalities still exist, from xenophobic attacks to corruption scandals and township protests. As a new decade looms, post-apartheid South Africa is at a crucial and dangerous crossroads. With the 2009 presidential election as a backdrop, "Behind The Rainbow" gives a previously untold account of the country's political problems, struggles, and realities.

"Behind The Rainbow" explores the transition of the ANC from a liberation organization into South Africa’s ruling party, through the evolution of the relationship between two of its most prominent veterans, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. Exiled under apartheid, they were once brothers in arms. Under Mandela’s administration, they loyally labored to build a non-racial state. Now, they are bitter rivals. Their duel threatens to tear apart the ANC and the country, as the poor desperately seek hope in change and the elite fight for the spoils of victory.

The film features key interviews with ANC current and former leaders, including Jacob Zuma, Kgalema Motlanthe, Pallo Jordan, Thabo Mbeki, and Terror Lekota. Examining previous events that the country’s political decision-makers have agreed to bury for the sake of democracy, "Behind The Rainbow" is a behind-the-scenes look at South Africa's seemingly miraculous transformation. By Jihan El-Tahri and Steven Markowitz.

Video

Video Excerpt: Independent Lens: Behind The Rainbow

Above: Over two tumultuous decades, South Africa has finally arrived on its own bumpy road to democracy. With the 2009 presidential election looming ahead as a historical turning point, "Behind The Rainbow" is a previously untold account of the country's political problems, struggles and realities.

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