video vault

by Mark Burger

DVD Pick of the week: Endgame (Monterey Media)

This well-rendered docudrama, based on Robert Harvey’s book The Fall of Apartheid, offers a glimpse into the political machinations that preceded the end of South Africa’s apartheid regime in the mid-1980s.

Realizing that apartheid’s days were numbered, political figures and scholars from both sides — black and white — began covert negotiations in England to somehow pave the way for the sweeping sudden social change that the end of apartheid would undoubtedly entail. Those working for the “new” South Africa often find themselves butting heads, while the “old” South African regime isn’t going down without a fight. What’s at stake is the future of a nation and its people.

By not overemphasizing the profound nature of the reallife proceedings, Endgame has both a credibility and even an intensity, although the outcome is known by now. An informative and intelligent dramatization, well-served by its cast: William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jonny Lee Miller, Mark Strong, Derek Jacobi, John Kani, Timothy West and Clarke Peters (as Nelson Mandela). Although made for theatrical release, this premiered in the US on PBS and earned an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Made for Television Movie. Rated PG-13.

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