The characters of Dear Mandela, from left: Mnikelo, Mazwi and Zama. (picture supplied)

HAILED as a “master class in ambitious documentary making”, and already raking in awards, Capetonians will get the chance tomorrow to see Dear Mandela at the Fugard on Monday night.

Co-directed by South African film-maker Dara Kell, it was named Best Documentary and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Brooklyn Film Festival in New York earlier this year.

At its centre are three friends from Durban who, refusing to be evicted from their homes after the government decides that all slums around the city will be eradicated, take their case to the highest court in the land.

The process catapults the three, high school pupil Mazwi, store owner Mnikelo and university student Zama, to leadership positions in their communities.

But Mazwi also learns an important lesson when he publicly denounces Nelson Mandela’s ANC and finds out that leaders must be diplomats, too.

“Dear Mandela is my first film, and it is the film that I was born to make,” says Kell.

“Witnessing the birth of a new nation in my early teens sowed the seeds of my film-making career. I’m part of a generation of post-apartheid film-makers who grapple with the hopes and complexities of our emergent country.”

Dear Mandela comes to the Fugard Theatre today (8pm to 10pm) for a special screening, followed by a Q&A with the film-makers.

Book online at - Cape Argus