The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife

Watch The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife

"A Black Comedy About the White Right"
  • NR
  • 1991
  • 1 hr 25 min
  • 7.1  (441)

The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife is a 1991 documentary directed and narrated by Nick Broomfield. The film follows the story of Eugene Terre'Blanche, the former leader of the South African far-right political movement, the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB), and his driver, Clive Derby-Lewis, as well as Derby-Lewis' wife, Gaye.

The film opens with Broomfield meeting with Terre'Blanche for the first time outside of the AWB headquarters in Ventersdorp. The filmmaker is immediately struck by the physical presence and charisma of the man who led a group dedicated to preserving the apartheid system in South Africa. Terre'Blanche is seen leading rallies and speaking passionately about the need for white South Africans to take up arms against what he calls a "black communist onslaught."

As the film progresses, Broomfield also spends time with Clive Derby-Lewis, a former member of the South African parliament and a staunch supporter of Terre'Blanche's cause. Broomfield is granted unusual access to the AWB and is able to observe the group's training exercises, where members practice military maneuvers and engage in target practice. Broomfield also spends time with Terre'Blanche's family, including his elderly mother, who has fond memories of the time when the South African government imposed strict segregation laws.

The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife takes a surprising turn when Derby-Lewis and his wife are implicated in the brutal murder of prominent anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani. The film shows Broomfield's surprise and shock as he learns of the killing through a radio broadcast while still on location with the AWB. The film then follows the investigation and trial, as well as the reactions of Terre'Blanche and his supporters.

Throughout the film, Broomfield offers a nuanced portrait of the complex relationships between the main characters. He shows the respect that Terre'Blanche and Derby-Lewis have for one another, as well as the devotion of their followers. Broomfield also explores the tensions within the AWB and the uncertainty of the group's future in the midst of a changing South Africa.

The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife is a compelling exploration of the extremes of South African politics in the late 20th century. The film offers a rare glimpse into the world of the far-right and the beliefs that fueled their violent actions. Broomfield's narration and access to the main subjects of the film provide a unique perspective on a pivotal moment in South African history.

The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 25 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (441)