I dashed from Crouch End back home and then drove into Central London to attend the opening gala of the wonderful UK Jewish film festival. I was surprised by how many people there that I knew. Natalie Walter and Amy Rosenthal, Uncle Archie, Carol Russell, Paul Morrison... the little film that I helped to cast, which featured Natalie and Ben Caplan, went down really well.
The opening film was An Act of Defiance, a rather beautiful film which told the story of Bram Fischer, a charismatic Afrikaans lawyer who made it his business to openly defy the Apartheid regime in 1960s South Africa. It was a very sad story. Nelson Mandela (who features in the film) has rather monopolised our perception of the struggle against apartheid, but there were countless other hugely brave individuals, white, black, Indian, Jewish, Cape Coloured, who suffered enormously and proudly went to jail for their beliefs. Fischer died in jail. The state refused to treat his cancer.
After the film, we went to Groucho club with the film's director and lead actor, a more charming pair of Dutch fellas it would be hard to find. As usual, Philip Sallon appeared like a panto witch in a puff of green sparkling dust. Either he lives in the club, or he has a sixth sense for my whereabouts at all times!