26 Apr 2018, by SydneySchelvis
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Jean van de Velde | 123 min.
In 1963 South Africa was ruled by the brutal system of apartheid. After a raid on a farm in Rivonia—a suburb of Johannesburg—ten men were charged with conspiracy to commit violent acts and sabotage against the government. One of the accused was Nelson Mandela, who convinced his fellow defendants to make a political statement by pleading not guilty. Included in Mandela’s group were Jewish anti-apartheid revolutionaries, who also joined the cause to end discrimination. All of the accused faced the possibility of the death sentence.
Representing the men was a sympathetic white lawyer named Bram Fischer, who risked his own freedom and reputation by defending them. He was a secret activist himself—and a member of the Communist Party. This absorbing courtroom drama unfolds in Jean van de Velde’s An Act of Defiance, a riveting political thriller that examines a vital moment in Mandela’s turbulent fight for a free South Africa. It also shines a spotlight on the courageous Fischer, whose crucial contributions to the movement are lesser known.
In English and Afrikaans with subtitles.
Saskia Diesing | 95 min.
Coco has no idea what to do with her life until she discovers her mother is terminally ill. She wholeheartedly embraces this new purpose in life and moves in with her mother to take care of her, ignoring their distant relationship, as well as her mother's desire to die alone.
Saskia Diesing (1972) graduated as a filmmaker from Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht (HKU) in 1996. After her graduation she worked seven years at the Dutch broadcast VPRO. At the VPRO she worked as a director for several television programs and was also editor in chief.
Founded in 1969 by Mary Jane Coleman, NashFilm was originally known as the Sinking Creek Film Celebration. Nearly 20 years later it was renamed the Nashville Independent Film Festival and, later, the Nashville Film Festival in 2003.
It was voted one of “25 film festivals worth the entry fee” by MovieMaker Magazine and highlighted as One of the Best Film Festival Prizes by Film Festival Today. Brooks Institute named it one of the top 5 film festivals in the U.S.