A new two-part documentary about the iconic South African human rights lawyer, George Bizos, will screen on SABC1 at 21h00 on Tuesday, 16 October and Tuesday, 23 October 2012. Bizos is synonymous with saving Nelson Mandela from the gallows.
Odette Geldenhuys’ Here be Dragons contains exclusive footage of Bizos and Mandela, capturing the simplicity of a life-long friendship. Geldenhuys, a lawyer and former colleague of Bizos, reveals this ‘Everyman’ as an inspiration to all who pursue justice.
Bizos is still active today and is currently at the Marikana Commission, representing some of the victims’ families.
Says Geldenhuys: “His life story is remarkable – from the teen that left behind a Greek village life to escape the Nazis with his father, to the only South African human rights lawyer who has practiced as such for more than 50 years. Now over 80, he still works at the Legal Resources Centre in downtown Johannesburg.
“My film explores his life, not only George as Mandela’s lawyer, but also George the gardener and storyteller. It reveals his humour despite tragic injustices, his humility despite having shaped the destiny of South Africa, and how the law became his sword to slay the dragons.’
The dynamic between law and justice – and where the outcome is not always that predictable – is an underlying theme, rendered in a playful yet incisive way through a verite style that combines archives, feature films and comics.
Here be Dragons was produced by Geldenhuys and Cati Weinek. The production company is Durban-based frank films.