Wednesday, 12 March 2014
I wouldn't know where to begin reviewing the film that I saw this evening ... other than to say that it's a true story, it's as gripping as any thriller. It's fast moving and there was so much to take in that I wouldn't mind seeing it again tomorrow.
Director Mandy Jacobson came across this untold story - previously known only to a handful of presidents and movers and shakers in African politics, and even they didn't know it in full - whilst she was gathering material for the African Oral History Archive. Jean-Yves Ollivier was the shadowy Monsieur Jacques, a mysterious French commodities broker who used his diplomatic skills to manoeuvre the end of apartheid. Monsieur Jacques is a character who could have been invented by Graham Greene or John le Carré and - although he was initially reluctant to relinquish his anonymity - he was there tonight taking questions from the audience.
It is a powerful story of how one man can make a difference. The trailer is here. And a review here. Sadly, it seems to be on very limited release unless you're in London, Edinburgh or Dublin.