Documentary: Pistorius

There is a new documentary available on Amazon Prime Video: ‘Pistorius’.

Our friend Heather has watched it. Here’s her review:

‘Pistorius’ is a new four part documentary, which aims to showcase Oscar’s rise and fall as a metaphor for post-apartheid democracy in South Africa. Like anyone who is weary and frustrated with the endlessly sensationalist, ill-researched, and inaccurate documentaries that have been made about Oscar over the last few years, I was nervous about watching. However, having done so, I found ‘Pistorius’ to be the most balanced, impartial, and truthful documentary to date (although it’s fair to say the benchmark is depressingly low).

The documentary appropriately addressed key issues such as; police ineptitude, the damage inflicted by the gender violence lie and early media character assassination, media exploitation including the broadcasting of the trial, Oscar’s physical and psychological vulnerability, the reality of crime and violence in South Africa, and crucially emphasised that Oscar was not found guilty of intentionally killing Reeva but the ‘person behind the door.’ Whilst the trial scenes were painful to re-live, there was a helpful visual representation of Oscar’s version of events, and analysis of key evidence which showed why the State’s charge of premeditated murder did not hold up.

The documentary benefitted from interviews with family members including; Carl, Aimee, Arnold, Sheila’s sister Diana and her husband Dick and son Graham. Also long term associates such as teammate Samkelo, coach Ampie Louw , agent Peet van Zyl, and Oscar’s prosthetists. Respected professionals; Karyn Maugham (also Associate Producer), Kelly Phelps, Anneliese Burgess, David Klatzow, and Professor Jonathan Scholtz offered insightful and balanced input. Other interviews included; Hilton Botha, James Grant, Jaqui Mofokeng who came across as biased and vengeful, and Gerrie Nel who sought to present himself as a humble, determined prosecutor passionate about the pursuit of justice.

Personally, I found the decision not to explore the political interference in Oscar’s case disappointing, as was the failure to highlight the inequality inherent in the State’s relentless and unprecedented pursuit of one man. It would also have been gratifying to have been shown the views of SA’s top legal minds on the murder conviction. That said, squeezing such a complex life story into a four hour programme was undoubtedly a challenge and I applaud the producers for an honest, accurate and insightful documentary. It may not change everyone’s beliefs but if it helps to challenge popular misperceptions and to tell the truth that’s a welcome step forward.

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It’s been awhile since I last posted anything on this page but that doesn’t mean you’ve been out of my thoughts. I just want you to know that I’m still here Ozzy …still behind you absolutely 100% ! I send you little something every month to the correctional services ..I just hope you get them. It’s only usually a card and a magazine so if you do get them I hope they bring you a a little bit of joy. My way of showing I care .

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