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Director Lee Hirsch at UNH to Discuss His Sundance Film about Mandela

Release Date:
2/18/2014 9:00 PM

Feb. 18, 2014

Amandla, Nelson Mandela, film poster

WEST HAVEN, CONN. – Lee Hirsch, director of a Sundance film about the life of Nelson Mandela, will be featured at the University of New Haven at a program celebrating Mandela’s life on Thursday, March 6 at 6 p.m.

The event will feature a screening of Hirsch’s documentary, “Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony,” a Sundance audience award-winning movie.  There will be a discussion about the film immediately afterward with Hirsch.

The 2002 documentary film depicts the struggles of black South Africans against the injustices of Apartheid through the use of music. The film takes its name from the Zulu and Xhosa word “amandla,” which means power. It was produced by Sherry Simpson Dean and Hirsch, who also produced the film's soundtrack. The collection of authentic South African "Freedom Songs" was executive produced by Dave Matthews and his label ATO Records.

“We wanted to celebrate this man’s life,” Matthew Schmidt, assistant professor of political science and national security, said. “Mandela’s leadership and his sacrifices reflected the struggle of millions and kept the hope for freedom and equality alive in the darkest years of the anti-apratheid struggle. Young students with no memory of apartheid need to know about Mandela, his strength and his joy even under the burden of imprisonment.”

The UNH celebration of Mandela’s life will include a performance by Noel Ginyard of Bridgeport, an evangelist, singer, actress, playwright, composer and performer, and the University of New Haven Gospel Choir, in conjunction with other area choirs. They will perform songs from the film.

The event will take place in University Theater in Dodds Hall on the main campus of UNH, 300 Boston Post Road.

Tickets for the event are free but limited. They must be reserved in advance by emailing or by calling 203-479-4539.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and a graduate business campus in Orange, Conn. and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in New Mexico. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide, and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.