In How To Steal A Country, director Rehad Desai turns his unflinching gaze to another defining moment in South Africa’s recent history: the rise and fall of the Gupta family. The film was also co-directed by the multi-award-winning Mark J Kaplan (The Village Under The Forest).
Desai has made the definitive documentaries on Marikana and #feesmustfall respectively. He has a long history of delivering the truth to South Africans, and directed the Emmy-winning Miners Shot Down and One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival winner Everything Must Fall.
As editor Ferial Haffajee says of the Gupta family in the documentary, “They came here as traders. They sold shoes out of the boot of their car… And they left here as multi-billionaires.”
Desai’s take on how they accomplished that is a suspenseful detective story uncovering one huge bribery scandal after another, involving the top echelons of political power and several well-known multinational corporations.
As investigative journalist, Thanduxolo Jika, says in the documentary: “It’s been almost ten years of unabated looting. They estimate that it’s close to a trillion that the whole state capture debacle cost the country. A country that has got the highest unemployment rate, the highest rate of people who live in poverty. A trillion could have changed their lives.”
As hard as it is to watch that much money leave South Africa in just 93 minutes, How To Steal A Country is essential viewing for all South Africans who want to understand their country.
The film will be available to stream now on Showmax.