French Filmmaker Euzhan Palcy honored in South Africa
On Friday 28 April, as part of the 2017 National Orders Awards, President Jacob Zuma bestowed the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in Silver on French film director Euzhan Palcy. This order is the highest honor in South Africa for a foreign dignitary. It recognises eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa.
According to the Presidency, the order was bestowed on Euzhan Palcy for "her excellent contribution to the liberation struggle by exposing South African social injustices through an international film that strengthened the revolution against apartheid."
Euzhan Palcy raised awareness about South African social injustices by converting the anti-apartheid novel of Andre Brink: A Dry White Season into film (1989). She travelled to South Africa defying the special section of the apartheid regime with the help of Dr Nthato Motlana, Nelson Mandela’s personal physician and friend, who smuggled her into Soweto undercover.
Euzhan Palcy became the first black female director produced by a major Hollywood studio (MGM) and the only woman who succeeded in directing an anti-apartheid narrative feature film during the apartheid era. The biggest black South African actors and international stars like Marlon Brando star in A Dry White Season which was banned in South Africa.