Independent Lens: Behind the Rainbow Series

Public talks curated around Independent Lens: Behind the Rainbow, a previously untold account of South Africa’s political struggles on the road to democracy. What if you took the American civil war and mashed it up with the French Revolution and the U.S. civil rights movement? That’s what it felt like in South Africa, when the Mandela miracle brought down Apartheid. But can the deal between the old Apartheid regime and the new government withstand the test of time? South Africa has finally arrived on its own bumpy road to democracy, and with the 2009 presidential election looming ahead as a historical turning point, Behind the Rainbow explores the country over the last two tumultuous decades. Independent Lens programs come in every shape and size, including feature-length documentaries, hour-long dramas, four-minute comic shorts, half-hour experimental pieces and everything in between. What binds these programs together is the spirit of the filmmakers themselves-—visionaries who ignore the rules of commercial programming and spend years pursuing diverse stories about people not normally seen on TV. Some of these filmmakers have won the most prestigious industry awards. Others are being discovered before viewers’ eyes. All of them share the gift of storytelling, a compelling sense of purpose and unrivalled access to often-closed communities and little-known worlds.

Public talks curated around Independent Lens: Behind the Rainbow, a previously untold account of South Africa’s political struggles on the road to democracy. What if you took the American civil war and mashed it up with the French Revolution and the U.S. civil rights movement? That’s what it felt like in South Africa, when the Mandela miracle brought down Apartheid. But can the deal between the old Apartheid regime and the new government withstand the test of time? South Africa has finally arrived on its own bumpy road to democracy, and with the 2009 presidential election looming ahead as a historical turning point, Behind the Rainbow explores the country over the last two tumultuous decades. Independent Lens programs come in every shape and size, including feature-length documentaries, hour-long dramas, four-minute comic shorts, half-hour experimental pieces and everything in between. What binds these programs together is the spirit of the filmmakers themselves-—visionaries who ignore the rules of commercial programming and spend years pursuing diverse stories about people not normally seen on TV. Some of these filmmakers have won the most prestigious industry awards. Others are being discovered before viewers’ eyes. All of them share the gift of storytelling, a compelling sense of purpose and unrivalled access to often-closed communities and little-known worlds.