Lorie Conway, NF ’94, has produced a documentary, “Making the Case, Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law,” about the work of Beatrice Mtetwa, a Zimbabwean lawyer who has taken up the difficult and controversial task of defending political prisoners jailed by President Robert Mugabe’s administration. This work has made her a well-known figure in African law, as well as one of only two Africans to win France’s prestigious Ludovic-Trarieux prize for human rights. (The other is Nelson Mandela.)
Conway, a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker, wrote, directed, and produced the documentary. She said the film has caused “a ripple of action and inspired activism.” “The regime did not change, Mugabe is still in power,” Conway said. “But more people know about Beatrice now. Her inspiring message and her behavior has done so much to further Zimbabwe’s cause and doing the right thing in spite of resistance.”
Conway also said her project might not have come to fruition without the help of her fellow Nieman alums, Hopewell Chin’ono, NF ’10, a native Zimbabwean and co-producer of the film, and Andrew Meldrum, NF ’08, who consulted on and appears in the documentary. Meldrum was represented by Mtetwa in 2002 when he was charged with “publishing false news” for reporting on the torture of black Zimbabweans by the Mugabe regime. He was acquitted but forced to leave the country.
The documentary has been picked up by KCET LinkTV for distribution in the United States.
Watch the trailer here.