Tuesday, February 23, 2010

End Game - 2009

Meigi Rahman

The film depicts the final days of apartheid, focusing on secret talks held between the African National Congress and the National Party in a country house in Somerset, England. The film focuses on the emotional relationship that develops between Willie Esterhuyse and Thabo Mbeki.

The secret talks were brokered by Michael Young, a British businessman who worked for Consolidated Goldfields, a firm with considerable interests in South Africa. The talks took place in Mells Park, a country house near Frome in Somerset. The house was then owned by Consolidated Goldfields.

Consolidated Goldfields was a company with interests in South Africa which is the subject of sanctions by other nations. In one scene, Young and Rudolf Agnew, chairman of Consolidated Goldfields, leave their offices in London and are mobbed by anti-apartheid protesters who batter and chase their car, unaware that the two men are sponsoring the very talks that are leading to the end of the system they oppose.

In an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on 24 April 2009, Michael Young mentioned how he had been asked by Thabo Mbeki to write the final chapter of the 2003 book by Robert Harvey on the Fall of Apartheid - the chapter titled "Endgame" - on which this film is based.