This American Life

Public Radio International (1997)
Director: Joshua Seftel

The first part of Josh Seftel and Rich Robinson's documentary about South Africa. Josh meets people who may be distant South African relatives. He likes them. But because his black friend is with him, he's very nervous that they might be racists. Quizzing them at length at dinner, he finds that one of them is one of Nelson Mandela's doctors. Their kids were very active in the struggle against apartheid. Rich, however, is disturbed by the way they talk about their servants and talk to their servants, and the way they talk to him. Figuring the only way they'll get along again is if they hit the road and get away from Josh's relatives, they start a trek across South Africa, first stopping in an African village. (22 minutes) 

Josh Seftel and Rich Robinson's trek across South Africa continues. They head to the "South African Woodstock" and to a group that's half Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign and half terrorist campaign. They have more fights about what they're seeing. They have another set of encounters with Josh's family — these far more ambiguous in their meaning. Rich's opinion softens. Josh's changes too. (26 minutes)