Thursday, December 26, 2013
Bourdain's hour on South Africa is timely now
If you go to see TWC’s film “Mandela: Long March to Freedom” you’ll want to watch Anthony Bourdain’s hour “South Africa” in his “Parts Unknown” series. The link is here.
Bourdain is quite blunt in explaining how apartheid laws were set up in 1948 to protect minority white economic privilege.
Bourdain credits Mandela with almost all the impetus for the end of apartheid in the country. That does come through in the film. And according to Bourdain, some of the white population’s fears came true. Even in Johannesburg, white property owners abandoned many buildings, which were taken over by “revolutionaries”.
On the other hand, Soweto was shown as having become a suburb of tract homes, almost as they could be built in Dallas.
Many people do not realize that Johannesburg is high, at over 5700 feet, which is higher than Denver, and can have freezing temperatures in winter.
The food on the show was not as radical as the politics. There was lot of plain pizza and pasta.
The entire episode can be purchased legally from YouTube for $1.99.
Ted Koppel covered South Africa heavily on ABC Nightline in the 1970s and 1980s.