This text is taken from the newsletter that came out some days ago from Doc Society with the headline “Victory for Freedom of Speech in Zimbabwe”:
We’ve just heard great news that in a groundbreaking court order, Zimbabwean High Court Judge Justice Muremba has lifted the ban on the internationally acclaimed documentary Democrats . The award-winning film chronicles Zimbabwe’s writing of its first democratic constitution during 2010-2013. In the photo is Democrats director Camilla Nielsson with Chris Mhike, from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, and MP Brian Chuma.
Bertha grantee and Good Pitch Europe alumni Camilla Nielsson had full access to the political process behind the 2013 constitution-making, led by a Parliamentary Constitutional Committee. After her resulting film, Democrats, was released in 2014, it toured the world to win more than 30 international awards for its honest fly-on-the wall account of how Zimbabweans from across the political divide worked together to produce a progressive democratic constitution. The New York Times called the film “Outstanding, urgent, vivid. Finally a film that deserves to be called necessary.” Zimbabweans, however, were not allowed to see the film as the Censorship Board banned it as “Not suitable for public viewing.”
The case was argued by human rights lawyer Bellinda Chinowawa, who called the High Court order: “A great victory for all Zimbabweans” which will assist in expanding media freedom in Zimbabwe – as intended in the Constitution. Camilla Nielsson said: “After a 3-year delay, we can now finally distribute the film in the country where it was made.”