Documentaries. ‘The People Vs. The Rainbow Nation’ Looks at Race and Inequality in Contemporary South Africa.

The People Vs. The Rainbow Nation

To some people, the defining image of contemporary South Africa has changed. It’s no longer of Nobel Prize winners Nelson Mandela or Desmond Tutu; it is of students with their hands in the air in protest, surrounded by flames and riot police.

Directed by filmmaker and music video director Lebogang Rasethaba and presented by MTV Africa, The People Vs. The Rainbow Nation takes a critical look at race and inequality in contemporary South Africa, just 22 years after the end of apartheid.

The documentary features the perspectives of South Africans of different races, and also addresses income equality, class tensions, colorism, and LGBTQ rights, among other issues.

While race dominates the conversation, the documentary raises complex questions about education, economic Apartheid, white privilege, colonialism, sexism, governance, patriarchy and classism as viewed by young people in today’s South Africa. Well-known commentators and media personalities also weigh in with their thoughts, including comedian Nina Hastie, Afro-jazz singer Simphiwe Dana, musician and author Nakhane Toure, TV and radio personality Gareth Cliff, rapper and producer Reason, poet and activist Lebohang Nova Masango, Mail and Guardian arts editor Milisuthando Bongela, TV and radio personality Pearl Thusi, and radio presenter and City Press lifestyle editor, Gugu Mhlungu.

The People Vs. The Rainbow Nation premiered on South African television earlier this year, but you can watch it, in it’s entirety below.