Search - 21 Up South Africa Mandela's Children on DVD

21 Up South Africa Mandela's Children
21 Up South Africa Mandela's Children
Actors: Frans, Claudia, Thembisile, Katlego, Willem
Director: Angus Gibson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Documentary
NR     2008     1hr 10min

Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man, the Jesuit maxim behind the landmark Up Series has now been taken to South Africa, where a group of children, first filmed in 1992 at the age of seven are no...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Frans, Claudia, Thembisile, Katlego, Willem
Director: Angus Gibson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Biography, History
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/22/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 10min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A Heart Wrenching Film With Many (sad) Surprises.
Steven I. Ramm | Phila, PA USA | 07/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A Heart Wrenching Film With Many (sad) surprises.

I'm a huge fan of Michael Apted's "UP" Series of documentaries - where he follows a dozen or so British children as they age by visiting them every seven years. (You'll find my review of his latest elsewhere on

I was unaware, until recently, that another Director, Angus Gibson, had started a similar series in South Africa in 1992 (also made for Granada TV), finding 12 children - Black, White and mixed race - who were then seven years old and filming them again at 14, and now 21 years of age. (I'm not sure the earlier films are available on DVD.).

This film is short - at just 70 minutes - and has not bonus materials to speak of. (There is a Trailer for the British 42 Up DVD with an interview with Apted... I only wish they interviewed - or provided commentary by Gibson.)

These are truly "Mandela's Children" because they were first filmed under apartheid and we can see how the country has changed. There are affluent children included but most come from extremely poor single-parent families and nearly all are unemployed. Shockingly, three (yes, one-fourth) of this randomly chosen group have died of AIDS since they were last filmed at 14.

Once you start to watch this film, you will not leave the TV set. It's that griping. You'll also think about these kids (well, they are 21 now, so they are no longer kids) for days afterwards!

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"

Not complete enough for me
K. West | Boulder City, NV | 04/11/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I throughly enjoyed 7 UP and 14 UP in South Africa, and while this is a decent follow up, I wish they had spent less time on Arti, Lizette and Willem, and more time on the others. We saw Lizette for about 20 minutes, but not one mention of Tiene. Claudia was interviewed about Shane's death, but no details about her life were given at all."
Worth the wait
Philip Meitner | Otsego, Minnesota United States | 07/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I ran across the 7 UP South Africa video 7 years ago and I was capitvated from start to finish. For many years now I tried to find the 14 up series to no avail. Finaly the 21 Up came out and I was the first to order it. After viewing the film, I can honestly say I was taken back. You must watch the first film in order to really get to know these amazing children. To see these kids grown up and hear their opinions on many issues both really impresses and disappoints all in the same 70 minutes.
I would agree the most powerful aspect was indeed the perspective on HIV/AIDS from the group as well as the revelation of the three deaths due to AIDS. It is a somber feeling that you get, yet a sobering reminder of what AIDS can/has done to the people in South Africa.
The only disappointment was that not all the kids were included from the first film as well as having one girl who chose not to continue the series. I would also like to hear more what their actual political views are and how they reflcect their backgrounnds amist a very unique government.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film and as a Geography teacher, it has really enriched the teaching of South Africa for my students. It's Worth the wait!"