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Plot for Peace (2013)

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A documentary that reveals the untold story of apartheid's fall, and the mysterious French businessman who was instrumental in Nelson Mandela's release from jail.


Stephen Smith
5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Yves Ollivier Jean-Yves Ollivier ... Jean-Yves Ollivier, aka 'Monsieur Jacques'
Winnie Mandela ... ANC activist, South Africa
Thabo Mbeki Thabo Mbeki ... Former President, South Africa
Matthews Phosa Matthews Phosa ... ANC activist, South Africa (as Mathews Phosa)
Pik Botha Pik Botha ... Minister of Foreign Affairs, South Africa (as Roelof 'Pik' Botha)
Joaquim Chissano Joaquim Chissano ... Former President, Mozanbique
Neels Van Tonder Neels Van Tonder ... Head of Military Intelligence, South Africa (as General Van Tonder)
Jacinto Veloso Jacinto Veloso ... Minister of Security and Cooperation, Mozambique
Michael Ledeen Michael Ledeen ... National Security Council, USA
Rusty Evans Rusty Evans ... Director-General of Foreign Affairs, South Africa (as Leo 'Rusty' Evans)
Denis Sassou-Nguesso Denis Sassou-Nguesso ... President, Congo-Brazzaville
Chester Crocker Chester Crocker ... Assistant Secretary of State, USA
Jean-Christophe Mitterrand Jean-Christophe Mitterrand ... Presidential Advisor for African Affairs, France
Michel Roussin Michel Roussin ... Chief of Staff of Prime Minister Chirac, France
Odile Biyidi Odile Biyidi ... President of Survie [NGO], France


This is the untold story behind History, a well-kept secret behind the world-wide icon: Nelson Mandela's release was a Plot for Peace. For the first time, heads of state, generals, diplomats, master spies and anti-apartheid fighters reveal how Africa's front line states helped end apartheid. Their improbable key to Mandela's prison cell was a mysterious French businessman, dubbed "Monsieur Jacques" in classified correspondence. His trade secret was trust. Written by Indelible Media

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


1987. Mandela is in jail. Southern Africa is at war. Enter, the mysterious "Mr. Jacques"


Not Rated | See all certifications »



South Africa

Release Date:

31 October 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Complot para la paz See more »

Filming Locations:

Johannesburg, South Africa See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,554, 31 October 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,197, 7 November 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| | (DVD)

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film's subject, Jean-Yves Ollivier, had seen the destruction of civil war first hand in his native Algeria and was determined that the same fate would not befall South Africa. See more »


Written by J. Kaleth
Courtesy of Cavendish Music / Big Bang & Fuzz Pty Ltd
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User Reviews

Engaging and engrossing documentary that feels almost like a cerebral fictional thriller.
17 June 2016 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

Commodities entrepreneur Jean-Yves Ollivier recounts his behind-the-scenes efforts to help broker the beginning of the end to apartheid in South Africa. While most attention in that historic transition has rightfully gone to Nelson Mandela, the ANC, and those fighting for freedom on the ground, the story of this clever chess-player using his Machiavellian business skills to gently coax together people and nations who weren't even speaking is a fascinating look at how complex, and not always 100% pure, the impulses behind change can be.

Ollivier seems no fan of apartheid morally, but freely admits his first impetus for change was realizing it wasn't a sustainable model for a businessman like him trading with South Africa. So he tried to usher in the end of the old order with minimal violence and social disruption.

Occasionally we get the sense we might be hearing a bit of a self-serving version of the story – there's not a lot of hard questioning of Ollivier's version of events. But whatever the details, there's no question this unlikely hero had a serious hand in bring to a close one of the most shameful regimes of the 20th century.

On 2nd viewing it only grew in power, and emotion -- and my mild reservations abated. Whatever it's flaws this is a very powerful document of one person making a huge difference in the world, and not caring if he got the credit.

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