21 Up South Africa – Mandela’s Children (2006/Documentary/First Run Features DVD)
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C Documentary: B-
by the Michael Apted UP series,
Angus Gibson has been conducting his own such documentary series following
children every seven years as they grow, but this time it is from a changing
South Africa and 21 Up South Africa –
Mandela’s Children (2006) as the children go from Apartheid to an AIDS
crisis. The original UP series has been
issued in separate volumes and as a complete set. For more about the initial concept, go to
have fallen into formula, but the situation is so different and the idea of
other AIDS viruses that go beyond sexual contact killing and leaving children
orphans everyday is chilling and even more chilling, ignored and highly
underreported in U.S. media. This
chapter in the series becomes one of the most disturbing records of that
nightmare and competes easily with the stories, adding irony to the successes,
failures, progress and regress of the subjects.
Gibson has made a series equal to Apted’s so far.
1.78 X 1 image is soft but not as bad as you might expect for such a transfer. The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is location audio
and simple stereo at best, as expected.
Extras include text filmmaker bio, more about the UP series and gallery of production stills.
- Nicholas Sheffo