Read an interview with filmmaker Tamarin Kaplan here
The relationship between politics and sport during the apartheid era in South Africa has been widely explored, but this documentary breaks new ground by telling the little known story of an interracial rugby match that created a huge media storm in the turbulent year of 1976. At the Dan Qeqe Stadium in the New Brighton Township in the Eastern Cape on 10th October, the brewing tension and controversy over a sporting event that challenged the fundamental doctrine of apartheid culminated in an explosive game watched by over 10,000 spectators at the stadium. Initially planned as an informal and non-political rugby match, over one short week the game became a highly symbolic act of defiance against apartheid laws.
The documentary follows the events leading up to the match, during which the government tried everything in a frantic attempt to stop the game and the players from participating. Including interviews with players, administrators and former government officials, the film uncovers the trials, tribulations and triumphs and the effect on the lives of the people involved. Filmmaker Tamarin Kaplan weaves in photographs and archival footage of the game and the events leading up to it to take viewers on a fascinating and emotional journey, exploring the early history of rugby’s potential transition from purely a ‘white’ sport to a freely democratic one.