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A Common Purpose

(Rated PG)

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Special Q&A screening presented by Museum of Contemporary Art

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In the late 1980s, during the most violent period of the apartheid regime, twenty-five men and women were rounded up in Paballelo, a black township bordering the town of Upington in South Africa, to stand trial for the murder of a black policeman. All of them are soon convicted, fourteen are sentenced to hang, one lawyer is assassinated and the other goes into exile. A Common Purpose is the dramatic story behind the notorious trial that marked South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy. Told through the perspectives of Australian defence lawyer Andrea Durbach, independent journalist John Carlin and the accused, the story unfolds to reveal one of legal history’s biggest cases on the death penalty. A Common Purpose tells a timeless and inspirational story about a struggle for justice in a country where injustice was entrenched in the law.

Winner: Audience Award for Best Documentary, Sydney Film Festival
"An emotionally affecting career highlight for respected Aussie filmmaker Mitzi Goldman."
— Variety

Presented by Museum of Contemporary Art

Capturing seven decades of his work, David Goldblatt: Photographs 1948–2018 features his compelling portrayal of the rise and dismantling of Apartheid. This Sydney-exclusive exhibition includes his striking key black-and-white and colour photographic series, as well as never-before-seen material from his personal archive.

MCA Chief Curator Rachel Kent will be in conversation with renowned Defence Lawyer Andrea Durbach prior to the screening.

Session Times


Session Times

There are no scheduled sessions for this film. Please return to the Now Showing page for upcoming films.

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  • Year: 2011
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Mitzi Goldman
  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • Language: English
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