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Cry Freedom (1987)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 8,649 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 20 critic

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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Title: Cry Freedom (1987)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

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

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filmmakers intended to shoot in South Africa as early as October 1986 with permission from select prominent figures including Oliver Tambo and Winnie Mandela. After interviewing Mandela, the chief production crew was tailed around by the S.A gestapo all the time and was forced to leave South Africa. Also, the SABC at that time deliberately misinterpreted Richard Attenborough's decision of shooting the film in October and instead broadcast the news of him starting a revolution sponsored by Russia. See more »

Goofs

Although the film is set in South Africa, circa 1977, one of the buses arriving at Steve Biko's funeral plainly bears advertising for Charon's - a Zimbabwean brand of sweets not known in South Africa. See more »

Quotes

Steve Biko: I just expect to be treated like you expect to be treated. Come on, what are you so afraid of? Once you try you see there's nothing to fear. We're just as weak and human as you are.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening disclaimer: "With the exception of two characters whose identity has been concealed to ensure their safety, all the people depicted in this film are real and all the events true." See more »

Connections

Referenced in One True Thing (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thought provoking, gut wrenching and a humbling experience at 14 years of age
15 February 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I think the context of the story has been covered by other posters so I would just like to write about the impact this film had on me.

I first saw this film the year of it's release around 1987. My school organised a trip to the cinema to see it, for an RE project I think. We all went along of course excited because we were on a school trip to the cinema! Little did we know what we were about to experience. To this day I still remember the feelings it invoked in me and i remembered crying a lot as were most of my friends. I think at the age we were we found it shocking and quiet rightly outraged in our own youthful way .It had such an impact on me that I joined the Anti Apartheid Movement the same year.

I think it served it's purpose in my case.


6 of 6 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
Version of Nkosi Sikeleli Africa in this movie luccastrel
great movie onlyastateofmind
The countryside mikepth
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