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In the back country of South Africa, black minister Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) journeys to the city to search for his missing son, only to find his people living in squalor and his son a criminal. Reverend Misimangu (Sidney Poitier) is a young South African clergyman who helps find his missing son-turned-thief and sister-turned-prostitute in the slums of Johannesburg. Written by
The film was shot in South Africa. Since the country was ruled by strict apartheid (enforced racial separation) laws, stars Sidney Poitier and Canada Lee and producer/director Zoltan Korda cooked up a scheme where they told the South African immigration authorities that Poitier and Lee were not actors but were Korda's indentured servants; otherwise, the two black actors and the white director would not have been allowed to associate with each other while they were in the country. See more »
When I was growing up this movie was the paradigm of the social cause film, but I had never gotten to see it until American Movie Classics ran it recently. I was disappointed. The first third of the movie was hard to follow, and the movie in general seemed disjointed (not helped by awkward cutting). The dialogue was hard to understand at times. The story itself I did not find particularly gripping or emotionally involving, and as an indictment of apartheid in particular and racial tolerance in general it was not particularly hard-hitting. The acting was nothing to write home about, either. A big disappointment.
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