Democrats (Movie)

Title — Democrats
Available on — Netflix, Hulu
Production Country — Denmark, Zimbabwe
Release Date — 2014
After Zimbabwe's disputed 2008 election results, political enemies are asked to write a new constitution and save their country from a bleak future.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

In the riveting documentary “Democrats,” directed by Camilla Nielsson, viewers are taken on a tumultuous journey through the political landscape of Zimbabwe during the creation of a new constitution under the rule of President Robert Mugabe. The film showcases the intricate web of political, local, and personal interests that threaten to derail the democratic process, all while the shadow of Mugabe’s dictatorship looms large over the proceedings.

With unprecedented access, “Democrats” unfolds like a gripping courtroom drama, delving into the struggles of a citizenry grappling with the concept of change and the entrenched power dynamics of political parties. Amid setbacks, riots, and arrests, the film captures the essence of a nation in flux, with Mugabe’s authoritarian presence casting a chilling pall over the nascent democratic efforts.

The documentary skillfully weaves together the aspirations of the people, the maneuverings of political elites, and the specter of Mugabe’s iron-fisted rule, painting a vivid portrait of a country at a crossroads. Despite the challenges and the looming threat of repression, the film exudes a sense of hope and resilience, showcasing the power of compromise and the pursuit of a common good in the face of adversity.

“Democrats” is a tribute to the tenacity of those who dare to challenge the status quo, offering a glimpse into the complexities of democracy in a society rife with political intrigue and power struggles. As Mugabe presides over the constitutional process with a steely gaze, the documentary captures the essence of a nation striving for change against all odds, leaving viewers with a sense of awe at the resilience of the human spirit in the face of oppression.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Actor Role
Robert Mugabe Self
Paul Mangwana Self – Zanu-PF
Douglas Mwonzora Self – Opposition party, MDC-T
Morgan Tsvangirai Self – Opposition leader

💬 Reviews and feedback

Welcome, movie enthusiasts! Grab your popcorn and get ready for a rollercoaster ride through the world of politics with the documentary “Democrats.” Imagine if “House of Cards” and “The Office” had a baby, and that baby decided to run for office in Zimbabwe – that’s the vibe of this film!

From the get-go, “Democrats” doesn’t hold back. It dives into the turbulent waters of Zimbabwe’s coalition government like a fearless surfer catching gnarly waves. The film manages to balance dark humor and profound seriousness with the finesse of a tightrope walker.

Let’s break it down:

Plot and Themes:

  • The film chronicles the creation of a new constitution in politically volatile Zimbabwe. It’s like watching a high-stakes game of chess where every move could change the course of history.
  • “Democrats” captures the essence of daily life in Zimbabwe, showing that amidst chaos, there is resilience and hope. It’s a poignant reminder that no matter how grim the situation, humanity perseveres.

Acting and Characters:

  • The real stars here are not actors but politicians navigating treacherous waters. Their passion, frustrations, and occasional absurdity make for compelling viewing.
  • You’ll find yourself rooting for some characters while wanting to shake others senseless – it’s a whirlwind of emotions!

Direction and Cinematography:

  • Camilla Nielsson’s direction is masterful, capturing both intimate moments and grand political maneuvers with equal finesse.
  • The cinematography brings Zimbabwe to life on screen, immersing you in its vibrant yet tumultuous landscape.

Production Design and Special Effects:

  • The production design gives you an authentic glimpse into Zimbabwean politics – no glamour, just raw reality.
  • While there aren’t explosive special effects, the power dynamics at play are more riveting than any CGI spectacle.

Editing, Pace, and Dialog:

  • The editing keeps you on the edge of your seat, seamlessly weaving together complex narratives into a coherent whole.
  • The pace is brisk yet allows moments for reflection on weighty political issues.
  • The dialogues are sharp, witty at times, but always laden with underlying tension – every word feels like a political move on a chessboard.

Binge-watching Tips: Keep your favorite beverage handy because you’ll need it to calm your nerves during some intense political showdowns!

As I bid farewell to this riveting journey through Zimbabwean politics captured in “Democrats,” I can’t help but marvel at its ability to entertain, educate, and provoke thought all at once. This documentary is not just about politics; it’s about humanity in its rawest form.

Ratings: 9/10 – A must-watch for anyone intrigued by the intricate dance of power and democracy!

Pros Cons
Riveting docu study of Zimbabwe’s troubled coalition government May be bleak for some viewers
Accessible and academically useful Humor may not resonate with all audiences
Imbued with daily Zimbabwean life Some viewers may find it too serious
Optimistic tone towards the country’s future Political theme may not appeal to all
Weaves in citizenry’s thoughts effectively Short runtime may not delve deep into all aspects


  • Democrats movie review & film summary (2015) | Roger Ebert

    “Democrats” won the Best Documentary prize at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and it’s easy to see why viewers were so taken with it. The film’s question of how democracy can be achieved in a rigged system is especially timely, considering how America’s corporate powers have caused countless citizens to feel as if their voices have been silenced. What’s lacking from the film is any substantial exploration of the Constitution itself, and the democratic laws that would’ve made it a game-changer in Zimbabwe, had any of them been put into effect. Though a sequence late in the film hints at Mwonzora and Mangwana developing a semblance of teamwork while completing the final draft, we don’t get a good enough sense of how this occurred or how it impacted their work. Regardless, the film’s final moments are shattering, affirming the futility of their efforts amidst the hollow laughter of the oppressed. It’s no surprise that Mangwana’s brother, Nick, ZANU-PF’s U.K. chairman, has dismissed the film as a “sitcom” designed to demonize his party. I’d sure love to see his rebuttal video.

  • 26 Celebrity Democrats - Famous Democrats - Oprah Daily

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    Meryl, Leo,andBey and Jay-Z.McKenzie Jean-PhilippeEditorial AssistantMcKenzie Jean-Philippe is the editorial assistant at covering pop culture, TV, movies, celebrity, and lifestyle. She loves a great Oprah viral moment and all things Netflix—but come summertime,Big Brotherhas her heart. On a day off you’ll find her curled up with a new juicy romance novel.Grant Rindner is a culture and music journalist in New York. He has written for Billboard, Complex, and i-D, among other outlets.Advertisement – Continue Reading BelowMeghan Markle Reveals New ARO Products

  • Democrats - Movie Reviews | Rotten Tomatoes

    Democrats Reviews

    As tense as a well-wrought political thriller, Democrats gives us intimate access to the three-year negotiations…Full Review | Aug 28, 2019The production feels tasteful and organic, to the point where you get so wrapped up you forget it’s a production at all.Full Review | Original Score: 7.5/10 | Feb 27, 2019Very alarming and revealing.Full Review | Mar 7, 2017Equal parts thriller, procedural, and unlikely character study, and it’s one of the most gripping, accomplished piece of nonfiction cinema of this or many recent years.Full Review | Original Score: 9/10 | Jul 10, 2016

  • Democrats (film) - Wikipedia

    • November 6, 2014CPH:DOX) (

    Running time

    99 minutes Country Denmark Language English

    Democratsis a 2014 Danish documentary film directed by Camilla Nielsson about politics in Zimbabwe following the contentious 2008 election and the subsequent coalition effort to rewrite the country’s constitution.


    Following the contentious 2008 Presidential election in Zimbabwe, a coalition that includes Paul Mangwana and Douglas Mwonzora work to rewrite the Zimbabwean constitution.

  • Democrats (2014) - IMDb

    Robert Mugabe is a man who has been in power for far too long; who has murdered his opponents and ruined the economy of his country. When under international pressure, he agreed to writing a new constitution, it was easy to imagine things would not end well, or with honesty from the President. This film tells the story of what happens.The first thing one notices is just how slick our politics really is, for better or for worse, than that which exists in Zimbabwe’s pseudo-democracy. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party really do send thugs to meetings to parrot the party line and intimidate their opponents; opposition leader Douglas Mwonzora seems like an earnest, naive professor; ZANU-PF negotiator Paul Mangwana clearly admits that the game is all about seeming to be nice. There’s little subtlety here: the bland evasive nothingness of western politicians is in some sense less democratic than what we get from this set of characters out of central casting. But soon the story becomes more interesting. Ultimately, Mangwana actually decides to genuinely try to forge something new; and is left steering a difficult line between the conservatives in his own party and the demands of the opposition. The emergence of this man as sympathetic gives ‘Mugabe and the Democrats’ a real story and drive, even if, as of now, Mugabe still holds power. One fears it will only ever be taken from his cold, dead hands.

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

Let’s dive into the controversial and politically charged world of “The Hunt,” a 2020 reimagining of the classic human-hunting story “The Most Dangerous Game.” The film opens with a bang as Emma Roberts meets a gruesome fate within the first fifteen minutes, setting the tone for the rest of the movie. The premise of the film, where a group of conservative individuals are hunted by liberal elites, sparked a firestorm of controversy even before its release.

The story unfolds in a manner that mirrors our current political climate, with both liberals and conservatives being portrayed in extreme caricatures. The film attempts to highlight how our own biases and beliefs can shape our realities, but it ultimately falls short of its intended message.

One of the standout performances in the film comes from Betty Gilpin, who plays Crystal, an apolitical Mississippian caught in the deadly game orchestrated by the liberal elites. As the hunt progresses, stereotypes on both sides are shattered, leading to a surprising twist towards the end.

The climax reveals that Crystal was chosen by the liberals based on a false rumor she spread online, showcasing how misinformation and biases can lead to dire consequences. The film’s liberal leader, Athena, played by Hillary Swank, delivers a chilling revelation that challenges the audience’s perceptions of good and evil, ultimately concluding with the unsettling statement that “there are bad people on both sides.”

In the end, “The Hunt” aims to be a satirical take on our polarized society, but its execution falls victim to the very extremes it seeks to critique. Despite the controversy surrounding its release, the film offers a thought-provoking look at the dangers of tribalism and misinformation in today’s world.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

“Democrats” is a documentary film that delves into the political landscape of Zimbabwe, focusing on the drafting of a new constitution in the midst of a dictatorship. Due to its mature themes and political content, this film is recommended for viewers aged 13 and above.

Parental Guide:

Parents should be aware that “Democrats” contains intense political themes and discussions, including references to crimes committed by the government, such as ethnic cleansing. The film also touches on issues of power dynamics, manipulation, and the struggle for democracy.

There is no explicit sex or nudity in the film. However, there are scenes depicting tense political negotiations and discussions that may be difficult for younger viewers to fully grasp.

The film does not contain graphic violence or gore, but it does address serious topics related to human rights violations and political oppression.

Profanity is minimal in the film, with occasional use of strong language in the context of political debates and discussions.

Overall, “Democrats” is an insightful documentary that sheds light on important political processes, but parents should consider the maturity level of their children before watching due to the complex themes and historical context portrayed in the film.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Netflix You can watch Democrats on Netflix.
Hulu Democrats is available on Hulu for streaming.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • You mean like Democrats
    Bob Hope
  • Clip from a Bob Hope movie describes Democrats as 'zombies.'

🤖Democrats Reddit Talks

Political Polarization and Extremism

The movie “Civil War” explores the theme of political polarization and the extreme rhetoric that can lead to conflict. Director Alex Garland highlights how this rhetoric can make us perceive the opposing side as evil, justifying extreme measures. The film prompts viewers to reflect on their own biases and consider whether they contribute to division or unity.

Ambiguity and Interpretation

“Civil War” does not explicitly state its message, leaving it open to interpretation. It does not aim to reinforce existing political beliefs but rather to challenge them. By presenting a complex narrative, the film encourages viewers to question their own assumptions and engage in thoughtful discussion.

Moral Ambiguity and the “Good” Side

Despite being portrayed as the “good” side, the Western Forces in “Civil War” use questionable tactics, including raiding the White House and deposing the elected president. This moral ambiguity challenges traditional notions of good and evil, forcing viewers to grapple with the complexities of political conflicts.

Criticisms of Democratic Politics

Some critics of the movie argue that it perpetuates the idea that both sides are equally at fault, ignoring the responsibility of the far right in fueling political division. Others express concern that the film could be used to justify extreme actions by those who believe the left is a threat.

Political Affiliation of the Filmmakers

Despite the film’s exploration of political themes, director Zack Snyder has stated that he is a Democrat and has liberal views. This has led to some questioning whether the film’s political message is genuine or a reflection of the filmmaker’s personal beliefs.

Democrats and Political Polarization

Discussions surrounding the movie have also touched on the role of the Democratic Party in political polarization. Some argue that the Democrats have become too centrist, alienating progressive voters and contributing to the rise of extreme ideologies. Others maintain that the party is still committed to progressive values and is working to address the concerns of all Americans.


The discussions surrounding “Civil War” highlight the complex and multifaceted nature of political polarization in society. The film’s themes of extremism, moral ambiguity, and political affiliation have sparked debates and challenged viewers to critically examine their own beliefs. While the movie does not provide easy answers, it encourages dialogue and reflection on the urgent issue of political division.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

What is the plot of the movie Democrats?

The movie Democrats is a 2014 Danish documentary film directed by Camilla Nielsson that follows the political landscape in Zimbabwe after the contentious 2008 election. It focuses on the process of creating a new constitution in politically unstable Zimbabwe led by the ruling party of Robert Mugabe and the fractured opposition.

What themes are explored in the movie Democrats?

Democrats delves into themes of political instability, negotiation, power struggle, and the complexity of coalition government in Zimbabwe. It provides insights into daily Zimbabwean life and the challenges faced in the pursuit of democracy within the country’s political system.

Who are the key figures featured in the movie Democrats?

The main figures in Democrats include Paul Mangwana, a member of the ruling party, Robert Mugabe, the strongman president, Douglas Mwonzora from the opposition party, and Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader. These personalities play crucial roles in the political landscape and the constitution-making process depicted in the documentary.

What makes Democrats documentary stand out from other political films?

Democrats is praised for its in-depth exploration of the political process in Zimbabwe, offering both bleak and optimistic perspectives. The film is noted for its blend of humor and seriousness, providing a riveting look at the challenges and triumphs of building a democratic system in a politically turbulent environment.

How does Democrats documentary portray the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe?

Democrats portrays the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe through the lens of constitution-building, showcasing the tensions, negotiations, and compromises involved in the process. It sheds light on the competing interests of political parties, local stakeholders, and personal ambitions that shape the country’s path towards democratic governance.

What are some of the recurring themes in Democrats documentary?

Some recurring themes in Democrats documentary include political power dynamics, the impact of historical events on the present situation, the pursuit of democratic ideals in an authoritarian regime, and the role of individuals in shaping the political landscape of Zimbabwe. The film captures the essence of resilience, hope, and perseverance in the face of political challenges.

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