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BBC to run drama-doc produced by Diverse on Winnie Mandela shot in Soweto

A British company has produced for the BBC a documentary-drama tracing the life of Winnie Mandela. Shot in Soweto, the film explores the sometimes controversial past of the former muse of the ANC, and focuses on her turbulent relationship with her former husband, Nelson Mandela.

The main actors are Sophie Okonedo, a British of Nigerian origin already noticed in “Hotel Rwanda”, and David Harewood (Blood Diamond). Blood Diamond actor David Harewood will play Nelson Mandela, with Blackpool actor David Morrissey taking on the role of notorious police interrogator Theunis Swanepoel.

The film, made by independent production company Diverse, was written and directed by Michael Samuels, who directed BBC4 drama The Curse Of Steptoe about the troubled life of the stars of sitcom Steptoe and Son.

Viewers of the BBC 4 and BBC 2 will premiere this film simply called “Mrs. Mandela”. Release is scheduled for late 2009.

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