Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Double Feature

The Russell Library cordially invites you to attend a lunch time screening of two short films recently added to it's international collections: Stan Hannan’s A Chaplain’s Story (1976) and Rhodesia Unafraid (1978). The screening will take place in the Russell Library Auditorium from 12:00-1:00PM on Friday, November 13, 2009.

These films, produced during Hannan’s time in the Rhodesian Army’s Chaplain Corps, offer a unique window into the Rhodesian Bush War (1964-79) from the perspective of the chaplains who ministered to the beleaguered Rhodesian Army. Also known as the Zimbabwe War of Liberation or the Second Chimurenga, this conflict ultimately resulted in the overthrow of white governance in Rhodesia and the creation of modern Zimbabwe.

A Chaplin’s Story, a 20-minute program shot in black and white (due to the unavailability of color film), details the work of chaplains in the Rhodesian army and their perspectives on the war. The film cast the Bush War as a struggle between an established Christian way of life and communist guerilla terrorists supported by China and Russia. The film omits discussion of the politics of race at the heart of this struggle.

Below: Still image taken from A Chaplin's Story
Impressed by A Chaplin’s Story, Hannan’s superiors commissioned a second film. Titled Rhodesia Unafraid, this film focuses almost entirely on the atrocities committed by forces opposing the Rhodesian government -- Robert Mugabe’s ZANU and Joseph Nkomo’s ZAPU, portraying them as Marxist communist and radically anti-Christian. In Hannan’s words,

"Was it pure “propaganda?” No, not really. At the time we felt we were under attack. The Chinese, Cubans, Russians, and North Koreans were amassed at our borders. ZAPU and ZANU forces were killing farmers and civilians. We were born in Rhodesia and felt we had the right to the land, and so we fought and defended it. History speaks for itself, and these films are a part of that history."

Below: Still image from Rhodesia Unafraid
Craig Breaden, Head of Media and Oral History, will provide a brief introduction to both films prior to the screening. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (706) 542-5788 or email jlevinso@uga.edu; For directions to the Russell Library, visit http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell/aboutus/visitor.shtml.

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