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Can a play written in the seventeenth century protest against contemporary issues? Is it possible to use a Shakespearian tragedy draw attention to political injustice? Apartheid was a system of enforced legal racial segregation in South Africa that was imposed on the country's majority non white inhabitants by the minority white population. In 1988 actress and director Janet Suzman took the decision to defy the racist apartheid regime by staging Othello in Johannesburg with a mixed cast of both white and black actors. In these three films we explore the way in which one of Shakespeare’s plays was used to make provocative statements on the political situation in South Africa the late eighties. This material forms part of The Open University course A230 Reading and studying literature.