No other leader in modern history has so successfully created a dictatorship under the guise of constitutional freedom like Robert Mugabe. Since coming to power in the first free elections in 1980, Mugabe has viciously silenced any opposition to his administration and inflamed racial tensions for his own political gain. As the leader of the liberation army Mugabe was the hero that ushered in a new era of equality and prosperity for Zimbabwe.
In his film Zimbabwe Countdown former Mugabe supporter Michael Raeburn explores the President's shattered promises following independence. Politicians from both the ruling ZANU-PF party and the MDC opposition are interviewed along with writers, artists, and journalists to show a country in decline. In 2002 Mugabe passed laws that gave him effective control over the local media and banned foreign journalists from working in the country.
Zimbabwe - Shadows and Lies sees journalists Alexis Bloom and Cassandra Herrman pose as tourists to report on a population struggling with hunger and poverty, and living in fear of a government that has become a brutal dictatorship.