Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Zimbabwe : Fahrenheit 9/11 still on at DIT – for now

DIT is still planning to screen the controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 tomorrow, despite the fact it was cancelled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) last Thursday, just minutes before the screening.

At UKZN the screening of the documentary was cancelled shortly before it was meant to start, after the film’s distributors threatened to take legal action against them.

Amanda Alexander of UKZN’s Centre for Civil Society told DITonline, “Well, there were 200 people there who were prevented from seeing it [the documentary].”

Organiser of the College Lecture Programme, Pritz Dullay, said, “So far, it seems like everything’s on. But nothing is assured, there’s no guarantee. They could do the same to us what they did at UKZN.”

He added, “We are very saddened by what has happened [at UKZN].”

Regarding DIT’s screening, Alexander said, “I can hope that it goes ahead.”
According to a press release issued by the lobby groups Aids Action, Palestine Support Committee and the Ethekwini Social Forum, “United International Pictures had approached the South African Federation Against Copyright Theft to exert legal pressure against the university to force the sudden cancellation.”

“The filmmaker, Michael Moore, has publicly given his blessing for people to make copies of the multi-million dollar grossing film and to arrange free public screenings. Civil society organisations around the world have arranged screenings, including in South Africa where the Anti-war Coalition has hosted numerous screenings in Johannesburg and in Cape Town,” stated the release.

The film is distributed in South Africa by United International Pictures and Anand Singh’s Videovision Company. The press release added, “The legal pressure came from United Pictures International, but Anand Singh’s Videovision must, at the very least, be held as co-responsible …The progressive community in Durban will not be cowed.”

(click on the title for the whole article)


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