In preparation for Nobel Prize-winning, anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s lecture next week, UCSB Arts & Lectures will screen the documentary “Long Night’s Journey Into Day” for free this Sunday.
The film, which details the work of Tutu and his fellow South Africans after the end of apartheid rule, will be shown at 3 p.m. in the Victoria Hall Theater, located at 33 W. Victoria St., downtown. A discussion forum led by professors Catherine Cole of the Dramatic Arts and Dance Dept. and Cedric Robinson of the Black Studies Dept. will follow the showing of the documentary.
The film follows the work of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that was formed to investigate the crimes committed during the 40-year apartheid rule. In particular, it depicts four cases concerning racial violence that were brought to the TRC over a two-year period.
Directed by Deborah Hoffmann, “Long Night’s Journey Into Day” was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000 for Best Documentary Feature and was the 2000 Sundance Film Festival Grand Prize Winner for Best Documentary.
Roman Baratiak, campus films and lectures manager, said he hopes the film will educate students, faculty, staff and community members before Tutu delivers his lecture in Santa Barbara Nov. 4.
“It really shows you the range of difficulties that exist within the apartheid system,” Baratiak said. “You get to see some really amazing footage from the committee itself. It’s trying to come to grips with one of the darkest periods in the country’s history.”
The film’s focus on the TRC also directly relates to Tutu, whom South African President Nelson Mandela named as Chairman of the TRC in 1995. Baratiak said the TRC provided important relief for those who lived in South Africa during apartheid because it was a peaceful way to discuss and reconcile government criticisms.
“It was a way of getting people to address their grievances from the apartheid movement and to get beyond them, but in a way that wasn’t about talking revenge, bloodletting or civil war,” Baratiak said. “It was about asking for amnesty, coming forward and telling the truth and being then reconciled.”
After the film, Cole and Robinson will moderate an audience discussion, which Baratiak said he thinks will be filled with several questions and concerns from audience members.
“It’s the kind of film that elicits a response,” Baratiak said. “There are many questions people will have.” Tutu will speak downtown at the Arlington Theater, located at 1317 State St., on Nov. 4 in a lecture titled Reconciling Love — A Millennium Mandate. Baratiak said Tutu, who received the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, lectured at the UCSB Events Center in 1986 — an event that attracted over 5,000 people.
When Tutu visited the campus in 1986, Baratiak said, the anti-apartheid movement was strong all over the United States, but especially within the UC system. Although it has been nearly two decades since he last visited, Baratiak said Tutu’s peaceful ideas are still relevant.
“It’s been almost 20 years, we really wanted him to come out and spread his message about healing and dealing with conflict,” Baratiak said.
Baratiak said he also hopes students will be encouraged by Tutu’s speech.
“Bishop Tutu is a very charismatic and dynamic person and he has the ability to motivate and to energize people,” Baratiak said. “I think in a time when a lot of people, particularly many students, feel disempowered, his message is really invigorating and positive.”
Tickets for the lecture cost between $30-45 for the general public, and $20 for UCSB students with a valid ID.