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President

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When Robert Mugabe was removed from power, Zimbabwe military leaders promised they would not seize control for themselves but would ensure democracy in a national election. Against a backdrop of economic crisis, food shortages, and political violence, the stakes could not be higher. Working to defeat the ruling party, which has controlled Zimbabwe since independence, is the young and charismatic Nelson Chamisa, who draws comparisons to a young Nelson Mandela in expressing the country’s utmost desire to be “led” and not “ruled”. After decades of a corrupt group clinging to power using any tool available—legal or not—can a free, fair, and transparent election be truly possible?

Running Time: 120 min.
Subject(s): Activism, African Cinema and Culture, Conflicts, Current Affairs, Investigative Journalism, Law and Justice, Politics, Social Justice, War
Language(s): English
Subtitles: English
Director(s):
Producer(s): Signe Byrge Sørensen, Joslyn Barnes
Cinematographer: Henrik Bohn Ipsen
Editor(s): Jeppe Bødskov
Production Company: Final Cut for Real (DK), Louverture Films (US), Sant & Usant (NO)

Press

  • The New York Times
    The way this film confronts the fragility of democracy and the ever-looming possibility of violence
    hit home for this American viewer in a way that was both harrowing and humbling.
    A.O. Scott
  • Variety
    Riveting. Nielsson’s galvanizing, epic-scale docuthriller...
    Rather like Frederick Wiseman, Nielsson has a knack for excavating savage drama from administrative
    process and politesse... Filmed with astonishing in-the-moment access.
    Guy Lodge
  • Vox - The best documentaries of 2021
    A thrilling, enraging film, and its intimate access...is extraordinary
    Alissa Wilkinson
  • RogerEbert.com
    A devastating, heartened report of democracy in peril against a dictator.
    Robert Daniels
  • Screen Daily
    A remarkable story of bravery and determination against daunting odds in Zimbabwe’s first “free and fair” elections...Chilling.
    Finnuala Halligan
  • IndieWire
    This Infuriating Look at Zimbabwe’s Corrupt Election Will Bring You Up to Speed
    Eric Kohn
  • The Guardian
    an intimate look at Zimbabwe’s collective cry for democracy and freedom... Camilla Nielsson’s thrilling documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at the 2018 election that followed the ousting of Robert Mugabe
    Phuong Le
  • The Hollywood Reporter
    a through-the-looking-glass moment in history that can’t help but echo the recent election furor in you-know-what-country
    Deborah Young

Festival Participation

  • Sundance Film Festival - 2021
    Winner, World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award
  • DMZ International Documentary Film Festival - 2021
    Winner, Special Jury Prize
  • DocAviv Film Festival - 2021
    Winner, Best International Film - Honorable Mention
  • Docville - 2021
    Winner, Jury Award
  • Cinema Eye Honors Awards, US - 2022
    Nominee, Outstanding Achievement in Production
  • CPH:DOX - 2021
    Nominee, CPH:DOX Award
  • Danish Film Awards (Robert) - 2022
    Nominee, Best Documentary
  • Biografilm Festival - 2021
    Nominee, Best International Documentary
  • Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival - 2021
    Nominee, Human Rights Award
  • Zurich Film Festival - 2021
    Nominee, Golden Eye - Best International Documentary Film

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