Have You Heard from Johannesburg Continues with Two Installments January 19
As the five-part Independent Lens presentation, Have You Heard from Johannesburg, continues, one may be inspired to ask “What was the basis of Ronald Reagan’s intransigence?,” for the former president was a formidable opponent of imposing sanctions on South Africa because of the human rights violation known as apartheid. What was going on in the background that allowed or forced him to ignore the swell of popular and--more importantly—political opinion that had reached fever pitch in the United States?
On Thursday. January 19, 2012, the series continues with “From Selma to Soweto” at 9:00 p.m., and “The Bottom Line” at 10:00 p.m. (check local listings for broadcast times). “From Selma to Soweto” follows grassroots to forest, as the anti-apartheid movement led by African Americans exerted pressure on the government to change its policies towards South Africa. As the campaign strengthened and grew, leaders took it to corporate boardrooms, universities, embassies, and “finally to Congress itself, where a stunning victory is won against the formidable opposition of President Ronald Reagan.” Following action from the United States, European countries imposed sanction that resulted in “the political isolation of the apartheid regime.”
As “From Selma to Soweto” shifts the focus from South Africa to the international activists and nations who fought to end apartheid, so “The Bottom Line” shifts the focus to the power of the pocketbook, for it was the sound of millions of purses snapping closed that finally signaled the end of apartheid. An international grassroots campaign that included Polaroid employees, consumers, Barclay’s Bank’s student depositors/account holders, and citizens throughout the world who made a stand to end “business as usual” with South Africa. “The Bottom Line” is an absorbing lesson on what a tremendous impact can be made when the sometimes-small acts of millions of individuals combine. It is an emboldening reminder of the power of the people; one cannot help but think of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Have You Heard from Johannesburg is a powerful documentary and testament to the influence we can all have in reversing inhumane policies. The series concludes on Thursday, January 26, with Free at Last.