South African journalist Donald Woods is forced to flee the country after attempting to investigate the death in custody of his friend the black activist Steve Biko.

Writers:

(screenplay), (books)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Josette Simon ...
Dr. Ramphele
Wabei Siyolwe ...
Tenjy
John Matshikiza ...
Mapetla
Juanita Waterman ...
Evelyn Sithole ...
Nurse at clinic
Xoliswa Sithole ...
Nurse at clinic
James Coine ...
Young boy
...
...
Ken
Albert Ndinda ...
Alec
Andrew Whaley ...
Sub-Editor
Shelley Borkum ...
Woods' receptionist
...
...
Wendy Woods
...
Jane Woods
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Storyline

Donald Woods is chief editor of the liberal newspaper Daily Dispatch in South Africa. He has written several editorials critical of the views of Steve Biko. But after having met him for the first time, he changes his opinion. They meet several times, and this means that Woods and his family get attention from the security police. When Steve Biko dies in police custody, he writes a book about Biko. The only way to get it published is for Woods himself to illegally escape the country. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of the friendship that shook South Africa and awakened the world


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Grito de libertad  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$29,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,899,797 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Biko, who is portrayed in this film by Denzel Washington, had been the subject of a television documentary around a decade earlier. This was in an episode of World in Action (1963) entitled "The Life and Death of Steve Biko" which was first broadcast on 3rd October 1977 [See: World in Action: The Life and Death of Steve Biko (1977)]. See more »

Goofs

Tires screeching on dusty dirt road. See more »

Quotes

Steve Biko: This is the biggest illegal gathering I've ever seen!
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Crazy Credits

Preceding the final credits is a list of other detainees who died in the custody of the South African police. Steven Biko's name appears on the list. See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
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User Reviews

 
An exceptional film
2 April 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film is, quite simply, brilliant. The cinematography is good, the acting superb and the story absolutely breathtaking. This is the story of Donald Woods, a white South African who thought himself a liberal until he found out the reality of apartheid. Kevin Kline is completely convincing - so much so that when Donald Woods himself appeared on TV some years later, I recognised him from Kline's portrayal. Denzel Washington also turns in a masterful performance, as ever.

I urge you to watch this. It is long, but it is worth your patience because it tells such an incredible story. Remember, folks, this really happened.


30 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Too much Donald Woods not enough Steve Biko D8Player
A truly great film pearl_paid_peanuts
Poisoned Tee-Shirts mikepth
great movie onlyastateofmind
Version of Nkosi Sikeleli Africa in this movie luccastrel
The countryside mikepth
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