The Making of Sun City

New York, New York, United States 1987
Duration: 59:52
Documentary on the making of the anti-apartheid record album and video "Sun City" produced in summer 1985 about a resort of that name in Bophuthatswana, a bantustan in South Africa. A key lyric in the song is "I… I… I… Ain’t Going to Play Sun City!" The documentary includes the music video and interviews with Jennifer Davis and Dumisani Kumalo of The Africa Fund, Arthur Baker, Rene Gezan, Co-Producer/Co-Director Hart Perry, Co-Director Jonathan Demme, Prince Markie D, and many of the performers. The video features Little Steven (Steven Van Zandt). The voiceover at the beginning of the video is by Stephanie Urdang. More than 50 performers were involved, with many music styles, including punk, rock and roll, rap, jazz, reggae, and hip hop. Artists included Afrika Bambaataa, Ray Barretto, Stiv Bator, Pat Benatar, Big Youth, Ruben Blades, Kurtis Blow, Bono, Duke Bootee, Jackson Browne, Ron Carter, Clarence Clemons, Jimmy Cliff, George Clinton, Miles Davis, Will Downing, Bob Dylan, The Fat Boys, Peter Gabriel, Peter Garrett, Bob Geldof, Daryl Hall, Herbie Hancock, Nona Hendryx, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Stanley Jordan, Kashif, Eddie Kendrick, Little Steven, Darlene Love, Malopoets, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Michael Monroe, John Oates, Sonny Okosuns, Bonnie Raitt, Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Keith Richards, David Ruffin, Run-DMC, Scorpio, Gil Scott-Heron, Shankar, Bruce Springsteen, Zak Starkey, Ringo Starr, Tina B, Pete Townshend, Via Afrika, Tony Williams, Peter Wolf, Bobby Womack, and Ron Wood. The video includes clips from the Donohue show with Sol Kerzner (Chairman of Sun City Corp.), Nelson Mandela before he went to jail, and Winnie Mandela from October 1985, as well as the premier of the Sun City video at the United Nations on October 30, 1985 with U.N. Assistant Secretary General Iqbal Akhund. Following the "Sun City" video, at 51:30 starts "UPDATE ’87" that includes an anti-apartheid rally in New York City, an interview with Neo Mnumzana, the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Tanzania, a reception for Oliver Tambo on January 22, 1987 with Tilden LeMelle, and a rally in Central Park with an interview with Yoko Ono. The video discusses: so-called independent homelands, constructive engagement, Ronald Reagan, relocation, Rod Stewart, Queen, the cultural boycott, London, sanctions, Britain, the Beatles, the Internal Security Act, Nigeria, Steve Biko, the song "No More Apartheid," the African National Congress (ANC), the vote, violence, political change, Godley and Crème, Manhattan Records, New York and California, P.W. Botha, Washington Square, Third World Newsreel, Martin Luther King, artists' royalties, families of political prisoners, refugees from apartheid, education, the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid, Aracelly Santana, divestment, the Special AKAs, Mayor Tom Bradley, Coretta Scott King, Mayor Andrew Young, Julian Bond, John Lewis, Reverend Jesse Jackson, the Front Line State, Robert Mugabe, and Samora Machel. The video includes in the credits Danny Schechter, Owen Epstein, Rick Dudka, Zoe Yanakis, Lexis Godfrey, Niles Siegel, Stephen Reed, Jock McLean, Dennis Benatar, Tom Sigel, Nancy Schreiber, Paul Mandel, Gary Meekins, Sally Roy, Michael Burnhaupt, Bob Lecterman, David White, Paul Allen, and Gregg Norton.

Used by permission of Bill Lichtenstein.
Collection: Private collection of Bill Lichtenstein