History maker who helped free Mandela to make Saffron Walden visit

Plot for Peace Plot for Peace

Thursday, February 27, 2014
7:01 PM

The man integral to the negotiations responsible for freeing Nelson Mandela and bringing about the end of apartheid in South Africa will be in Saffron Walden to talk about the historical events.

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Jean-Yves Ollivier has been invited to Saffron Screen to take part in a Q&A with the audience. It follows a preview of the documentary thriller Plot for Peace ahead of its release on March 14.

The film tells the little-known story of Ollivier and has previously been hidden from public view and omitted from history.

Saffron Screen has often welcomed a number of high-profile speakers, including Hollywood actors Jane Horrocks and Nick Frost, but organisers have tipped this event to be one of the most intriguing yet.

Rebecca del Tufo, the independent cinema’s business manager, said: “Jean-Yves Ollivier will be a fascinating guest and we are delighted to be showing the film ahead of its release.

“We may be a small independent cinema but we pride ourselves on the quality and diversity of our programme and our ability to offer special events, such as this, to our loyal local audience.”

Operating as a lifeline for top-secret contacts, Ollivier conceived and organised the exchange of a vast number of political prisoners, directly altering the course of peace talks across Africa.

To some, such as South Africa’s former president Thabo Mbeki, he was a mysterious French businessman and sanctions buster; for others such as Winnie Mandela and Mozambique’s former president Joaquim Chissano, he was a trusted friend and a man of bold vision.

This documentary, featuring interviews with Ollivier and with leaders, diplomats and freedom fighters from the region, as well as archive footage, shows the intrigues, compromises and dilemmas which led to regional peace and eventually the release of Mr Mandela.

The film’s director, Carlos Agulló, will join Ollivier for the Q&A which will be hosted by Graham Stock, head of emerging market research at BlueBay Asset Management. Audiences are advised to book early.

Plot for Peace will be shown at Saffron Screen on Sunday, March 9, at 8pm. Tickets are available from saffronscreen.com, the Tourist Information Centre and box office on 01799 500238.

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