â€˜VOICESâ€™, MEANING AND â€˜HETEROGLOSSIAâ€™ IN PRISONERS OF HOPE (1995)
The documentary film Prisoners of Hope (1995) is a heart-rending account of 1 250 former political prisoners in the notorious Robben Island prison in South Africa. The aim of this article is to explore the narratives of Prisoners of Hope and in the process capture its celebratory mood and reveal the contribution that the prisoners made towards the realisation of a free South Africa. The documentary features interviews with Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and other former inmates as they recall and recount the atrocities perpetrated by defenders of the apartheid system and debate the future of South Africa with its â€˜newâ€™ political dispensation led by blacks. A textual analysis of Prisoners of Hope will enable one to explore the human capacity to resist, commit oneself to a single goal and live beyond the horrors and traumas of an oppressive and dehumanising system.