SOFT VENGEANCE: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa
SOFT VENGEANCE: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa
SOFT VENGEANCE: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa
SOFT VENGEANCE: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa
A film about Albie Sachs, a lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter, set against the dramatic events leading to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa

SOFT VENGEANCE: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa

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WINNER - Peabody Award | "A Stunning Documentary" - NPR

African Studies • Reconciliation • Human Rights • Comparative Government

Date of Completion: 2014 | Run Time: 60 mins & 84 mins​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript & Study Guide | Director: Abby Ginzberg | Producers: Abby Ginzberg & Ken Schneider

SOFT VENGEANCE is a Peabody award-winning film about Albie Sachs, a lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter, set against the dramatic events leading to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa. As a young man, Albie defended those committed to ending apartheid in South Africa. For his actions as a lawyer, he was imprisoned in solitary confinement in Cape Town, tortured through sleep deprivation and forced into exile. In 1988 he was blown up by a car bomb set by the South African security forces in Maputo, Mozambique, which cost him his right arm and the sight of one eye, but miraculously he survived and after a long year of rehabilitation in England, he recovered. The film includes a chilling interview with Henry Van Der Westhuizen, the man responsible for overseeing the bombing. Returning to South Africa following the release of Nelson Mandela, Albie helped write the new Constitution and was then appointed as one of the first 11 judges to the new Constitutional Court. Today Albie continues his work as an advocate for international human rights and truth and reconciliation around the globe, seeking peace and justice without retribution.

SF Chronicle | David Wiegand
"Soft Vengeance packs a lot into its one-hour running time. We get not only a personalized history of the anti-apartheid movement but also a provocative and compelling portrait of a passionate, complex hero."

NPR | Linda Holmes
"A stunning documentary"

The Guardian (UK)
"An emotive film that recognizes the power and endurance of the human spirit at its best."

AWARDS
74th Peabody Award Peabody Awards
Best Documentary Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
Audience Award for Best Documentary | Vancouver South African Film Festival
Audience Award for Best International Documentary | Encounters Film Festival in South Africa

FESTIVALS
Boston Jewish Film Festival

REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH ABBY GINZBERG  

Abby Ginzberg, a Peabody award-winning director, has been producing compelling documentaries about race and social justice for over 30 years. Her Peabody-winning film SOFT VENGEANCE is the story of Albie Sachs, a lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter, set against the dramatic events leading to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa.  AND THEN THEY CAME FOR US is about the connection between the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WW II and the current Muslim travel ban, won a Silver Gavel Award and has played in major cities and film festivals across the country. She co-produced and co-directed Agents of Change (2016; with Frank Dawson), about the 1960’s struggle for black and ethnic studies on college campuses, which premiered at the Pan African Film Festival where it won the Jury and the Audience Awards for Best Feature Documentary, and was broadcast on America Reframed. She has presented her films on college campuses across the country, including Yale, Harvard, Cornell, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, University of Oregon, University of Richmond, Georgia State, and University of Chicago. Abby holds a BA from Cornell University and a JD from Hastings College of the Law.