Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law
How to Fight a Dictator
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DRAWING ON OVER 25 YEARS of award-winning production experience, Lorie Conway has created such films as Forgotten Ellis Island, narrated by Elliott Gould and broadcast on national PBS in 2009. Harper Collins published the companion book to Forgotten Ellis Island, which was written by Lorie Conway.
Hopewell Chinono is an independent filmmaker and Harare-based bureau chief for ITN-ITV, one of Zimbabweʼs few independent television stations. ChinOno was named CNNs African Journalist of the Year in 2008 and was a finalist in 2010 for the Rory Peck Award for A Violent Response, his film about the 2008 election in Zimbabwe.
Our film seeks to highlight the importance of the rule of law by focusing on attorney Beatrice Mtetwas efforts in Zimbabwe. In spite of beatings by police, she has courageously defended in court those jailed by the Mugabe government - peace activists, journalists, opposition candidates, farmers that had their land confiscated, ordinary citizens that had the courage to speak up. Through interviews with Mtetwa and some of her defendants, we will tell the story of what happens when rulers place themselves above the law and why defense of the rule of law is a crucial step in the building of a civil society. Although Mtetwas arena is Zimbabwe, her message and bravery are universal. We hope that the film will spark dialogue and change in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa, while also bringing the story of this inspiring woman to the attention of the rest of the world.