The Long Journey of Clement Zulu

The Long Journey of Clement Zulu is a powerful documentary following the release of three men from Robben Island, revealing their transformative experiences in a changing South Africa. It pays tribute to overlooked heroes and challenges media stereotypes of political prisoners.



Liz Fish


South Africa



Running Time:

59 min



In The Long Journey of Clement Zulu, one of the best documentaries made in South Africa, we follow the journeys of three men from the moment of their release from Robben Island to a painful and often contradictory freedom. They are Ebrahim Ismail, Ebrahim James Mange and Clement Zulu. ln this deeply moving and heart-breaking film, each man reveals how his sense of self changes upon release, as he encounters friends, family, loves and the new South Africa.

I wanted to pay tribute and give exposure to these ordinary heroes who paid the price of imprisonment. They could so easily be overlooked as they were reabsorbed into the mass of unemployed South Africans. I also wanted to debunk the media images of political prisoners – terrorists, hard bitten politicos, touch skinned and wily political fighters.

– Liz Fish

Courtesy of the Director


This is engrossing stuff, a human interest story which avoids rhetoric, yet doesn’t mince words…the cinematography is fresh and non- stereotyped
— Cape Times 1992
A remarkable documentary.. unique in that the ex-prisoners clearly trust the film-maker absolutely. Nowhere else have we seen such naked moments from deeply politically committed men
— Star 1992
Unprecedented in South Africa film…devoid of rhetoric..slice of history from the footsoldiers rather than the generals
— Argus 1992