The notorious Gupta family need no introduction especially here on our shores. The controversial family and its personal dealings with the SA government have been documented extensively but nothing quite like what Showmax have planned and subsequently given us the heads up on today, fittingly titled How To Steal A Country.
With the Emmy-winning Miners Shot Down and One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival winner Everything Must Fall, Rehad Desai made the definitive documentaries on Marikana and #feesmustfall respectively. Now, in How To Steal A Country, co-directed by the multi-award-winning Mark J Kaplan (The Village Under The Forest), Desai turns his unflinching gaze to another defining moment in South Africa’s recent history: the rise and fall of the Gupta family.
As editor Ferial Haffajee puts it in the documentary, “They came here as traders. They sold shoes out of the boot of their car… And they left here as multi-billionaires.”
Desai’s take on how they accomplished that is a suspenseful detective story uncovering one huge bribery scandal after another, involving the top echelons of political power and several well-known multinational corporations. As investigative journalist Thanduxolo Jika says in the documentary, “It’s been almost ten years of unabated looting. They estimate that it’s close to a trillion that the whole state capture debacle cost the country. A country that has got the highest unemployment rate, the highest rate of people who live in poverty. A trillion could have changed their lives.”
As hard as it is to watch that much money leave South Africa in just 93 minutes, How To Steal A Country is essential viewing for all South Africans who want to understand their country. It is officially screening first on Showmax from Thursday, 23 April 2020, just in time for the Freedom Day long weekend.
No doubt this should make for a very intriguing watch and we’re going to get the chance to see it first before it’s officially released for public consumption thanks to the cool kids at Showmax. Be sure to be on the lookout for our thoughts on it real soon!
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