Long Night's Journey into Day: South Africa's Search for Truth & Reconciliation

2000, 94 minutes
Director/Producer: Frances Reid
Director: Deborah Hoffmann
Distributed by California Newsreel

Cynthia Ngewu (one of the Guguletu 7 mothers) testifying at the TRC hearing. Photo: IRIS FILMS

Additional Resources


Documentary Films

Femmes Aux Veux Ouverts (Women with Open Eyes) (1994, 52 minutes)
Director: Anne-Laure Folly.
Distributor: California Newsreel (www.newsreel.org).
Produced by Amanou Productions and Anne-Laure Folly.
      This film surveys social conditions faced by women in Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Benin, including circumcision, forced marriage, AIDS, and economic repression. It examines grass-roots efforts to improve education as Africa opens to democracy.

Gacaca: Living Together Again in Rwanda? (2002, 55 minutes)
Director: Anne Aghian.
Distributor: First Run/Icarus Films (www.frif.com).
A production of Dominant 7/Gacaca Productions in association with Planète.
      In 1994, decades of politically motivated ethnic scapegoating culminated in a wholesale slaughter of the Rwanda's Tutsi minority, along with many Hutu moderates. Today, Rwanda is rebuilding, but its most difficult task is addressing the emotional trauma and fostering reconciliation between the Hutu and Tutsi. This film follows the first steps in one of the world's boldest experiments in reconciliation: the Gacaca Tribunals. They are a form of citizen-based justice rooted in ancient traditions of judgment, and aimed at unifying the nation.

Guguletu Seven (2002, 107 minutes)
Director/Producer: Lindy Wilson
Distributor: Villon Films (www.villonfilms.com).
      This video investigates the tragic deaths of a group of young black South Africans in 1986. Originally reported as a terrorist ambush thwarted by the police, the story behind the incident is uncovered by investigators for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Legacy of Nuremberg (1996, 50 minutes)
Director: Steve Smith
Distributor: Films for the Humanities (www.films.com).
The BBC in association with CTVC; written and presented by Joan Bakewell, produced by Anna Laura Malagò; panel includes Desmond Tutu.
      This program shows excerpts from the Nuremberg trials and features a panel discussing the trials' influence on contemporary wars and genocide. The film focuses on war crimes in Bosnia and the process of reconciliation in the new South Africa today.

State Sponsored Terrorism (2001, 46 minutes)
(Part 6 of the 6 part series, Terrorism: a World in Shadows)
Director: Robert D. Kline
Distributor: Ambrose Video Publishing (www.ambrosevideo.com).
Liberty International Entertainment Inc.; a presentation of Trans Atlantic Ent./Medeacom, in association with Facets Entertainment Group; produced by Christina Rodgers.
      This film depicts four instances of state-sponsored violence that occurred in 1996: the Chinese government massacre of students at Tiananmen Square; China's subjugation of Tibet; repression of the Kurds by Saddam Hussein; and South Africa's domestic terror against its black population (which had been going on for over 40 years).



Asmal, Kader; Louise, Asmal; Robert, Suresh. Reconciliation Through Truth. Cape Town: David Phillip, 1996.

Edelstein, Jillian. Truth & Lies: Stories from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. New York, NY: New Press, distributed by W.W. Norton, 2002.

Gobodo-Madikizela, Pumla. Human Being Died That Night: a South African Story of Forgiveness. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2003.

Rotberg, Robert I.; Thompson, Dennis F. Truth v. Justice: the Morality of Truth Commissions. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Tutu, Desmond. No Future without Forgiveness. New York, NY: Doubleday, 1st edition, 1999.

Villa-Vicencio, Charles; Tyrone Savage. Rwanda and South Africa in Dialogue: Addressing the Legacies of Genocide. Rondebosch, South Africa: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, 2001.


Web Sites

California NewsReel: Long Nights Journey into Day (facilitators guide)
      California Newsreel distributes social interest documentaries to universities, high schools and public libraries. Newsreel is the oldest non-profit film and video production and distribution center in the country. Over the past three decades they have brought institutional video users titles on pressing national and international issues, and currently they are a leading resource center for the study of race and diversity, African American life and history and African feature films and documentaries.

Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
      The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) is a multi-disciplinary South African non-governmental organization. Since its inception in 1989, the CSVR has been dedicated to making a meaningful contribution to peaceful and fundamental transformation in South Africa, and in the Southern African region.

International Conflict Research
      International Conflict Research (INCORE) was set up in 1993 by the University of Ulster and the United Nations University to undertake research and policy work that is useful to the resolution of ethnic, political and religious conflicts.

Iris Films (production company's web page for Long Nights Journey into Day)

California Newsreel (distributor's web page for Long Night's Journey into Day)
      Includes transcript and online Facilitator Guide, including discussion questions, history, timelines, eyewitness reports, profiles, and references.

Long Night's Journey Into Day (Review)
The Advocate, June 5, 2001, by Lydia Marcus

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission
      The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was set up by the Government of National Unity to help deal with what happened under apartheid. The conflict during this period resulted in violence and human rights abuses from all sides.


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