Rehad Desai’s ‘Miners Shot Down’ Wins an International Emmy for Best Documentary

South African filmmaker Resad Desai has won an International Emmy Award in the category of Best Documentary for Miners Shot Down.

The film charts the chronology of events leading up to the Marikana massacre in August 2012, which saw mineworkers in one of South Africa’s largest platinum mines striking for better wages. 6 days into the strike the police used live ammunition to suppress the group, killing 34 and injuring 78. By exploring the ordeal through the eyes of the miners, the film provides a drastically different narrative to the one authorities have put forward.

When we interviewed Resad in September 2014, there was a campaign running to have Miners Shot Down shown on free-to-air TV so that more people can learn the truth of what happened at Marikana. As reported by News24 yesterday, “despite winning countless awards, and being recognised overseas for his portrayal of the events that lead to the Marikana massacre, South African broadcasters still refuse to air his documentary.”

Here’s an excerpt from our Q&A with Resad, which you can read in full here.

“Nothing could have prepared me for the carnage that the massacre caused on a personal and political level. With the benefit of hindsight I was greatly assisted by my deep involvement with the miners that began with providing concrete solidarity whilst they continued with their strike and then through assisting the minority union AMCU obtain legal representation in the commission of inquiry and, through this union, families of the slain miners. This process soon led me to understand the need to produce a counter narrative to that of the police that was and still is claiming self-defence.”

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