An Act of Defiance


Centerpiece Film

Date: Monday, April 23, 2018
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: The Gershman Y

Director: Jean van de Velde
Genre: Narrative Feature
Country: South Africa | Netherlands
Year: 2017
Running Time: 2 hr 3 min
Language: In English and Afrikaans with English subtitles

General Admission: $15
Seniors: $13
Students: FREE! (*Student ID must be presented at the box office)

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Based on true events, this award-winning historical thriller follows the fate of Nelson Mandela and his inner circle of Black and Jewish anti-Apartheid fighters after their arrests during a raid in Rivonia, South Africa, the summer of 1963.

Bram Fischer (Peter Paul Muller), a tenacious Afrikaner lawyer, risks his career, family, and freedom to represent ten Rivonia trial defendants against charges of conspiracy to commit sabotage and treason against the National Party. As he fights to expose the corruption integral to South Africa’s system of Apartheid, he must be careful to keep his ties to the resistance hidden. While the prosecution gains momentum, Bram’s defense embraces a new strategy that focuses to prove that the African National Congress’ resistance is justified in their actions. With Mandela preparing to die for his beliefs, it is clear that no matter what the verdict reads, there will be no turning back.

This exhilarating courtroom drama skillfully combines nail-biting political intrigue with thoughtful insight into the personal struggles of those most central to South Africa’s seminal battle against racism and white supremacy. Expertly crafted, AN ACT OF DEFIANCE is a soulful account of a crucial moment in the history of South Africa. Its implications for the United States could not be timelier as we begin to acknowledge our own battle against a more subtle form of segregation – America’s culture of mass incarceration.

Special Guests:


For Fans of:

  • Apartheid history
  • Courtroom dramas
  • Human rights
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Social justice
  • South African history

Official Selection:

  • Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
  • Miami Jewish Film Festival
  • Mill Valley Film Festival
  • Nederlands Film Festival
  • New York Jewish Film Festival
  • Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
  • Seattle Jewish Film Festival
  • UK Jewish Film Festival


  • Audience Award for World Cinema Independent | Mill Valley Film Festival
  • Best Actor and Best Screenplay of a Feature Film | Nederlands Film Festival

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