Look: Endgame, Channel 4
Endgame started with a very nervous-looking
Johnny Lee Miller travelling in the back of van through a
South African township in the late 1980s, hiding under a blanket.
Police brutality was everywhere (Mabuza revealed in the after-screening
Q&A that the song sung by anti-apartheid protestors could
be translated as "Botha out, Mandela in"). The driver,
a black woman, seemed to trust him, but when she took him
to a social club where dozens of black South Africans were
holding court, her colleagues weren't quite as charitable
with their hospitality.
But who is this well-spoken Englishman in the midst of the
chaos and carnage? What are his motives for risking life and
limb? It turned out he was working for mining company Consolidated
Gold, a firm whose mining interests in the ravaged country
(under state of emergency) were in danger of coming to an
end thanks to the deteriorating leadership of PW Botha and
looming threat of civil war.
Lee Miller's Michael Young, recognising that he had a company
to save, set about setting up secret meets between the ANC's
Thabo Mbeki (Chiwetel Efiojor) and government representative,
Professor Willie Esterhuyse, in England to try and get them
talking and, ultimately, pave the way for formal negotiations
between the government and the ANC (and the release of Mandela
and the abolition of apartheid).