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Accused no. 2: Walter Sisulu

Audio recordings of the notorious Rivonia Trial in South Africa in 1964 come to life in this black-and-white animated VR experience.

In the Rivonia Trial of 1963 and 1964 in South Africa, 10 ANC anti-apartheid activists stood trial, among them Nelson Mandela. Although all the defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment, the trial triggered a process that would ultimately lead to the abolition of apartheid. 256 hours of audio recordings of the trial were recently restored and digitized. Based on this audio archive, filmmakers Gilles Porte and Nicolas Champeaux made the feature-length documentary The State Against Mandela and the Others and this VR experience, which takes you into the courtroom to hear the testimony of ANC activist Walter Sisulu.

In Accused no. 2: Walter Sisulu, Sisulu’s cross-examination by prosecutor Percy Yutar is illustrated in black-and-white animations with the atmosphere of charcoal drawings. They place you in the middle of the courtroom opposite Sisulu, and beneath the towering figure of the judge. At crucial points, we leave the courtroom for abstract animations that underscore Sisulu’s testimony, or flashbacks to the events he’s describing. As Sisulu holds his own throughout cross-examination, we truly feel what he’s going through.

Project details

Year of development :2018
Created by:Nicolas Champeaux, Gilles Porte
With:La Générale de Production

Available formats