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.

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(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

According to director Richard Attenborough, a number of cast members were South African exiles. 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: We are going to change South Africa. What we've got to decide is the best way to do that. And as angry as we have the right to be, let us remember that we are in the struggle to kill the idea that one kind of man is superior to another kind of man. And killing that idea is not dependent on the white man. We must stop looking to him to give us something. We have to fill the black community with our own pride. We have to teach our black children black history, tell them about our black heroes, ...
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 Kicking and Screaming (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika
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User Reviews

 
Fine all round performances
1 April 2002 | by (Woking, England) – See all my reviews

Billed as the story of Steve Biko -- played excellently by Denzel Washington, as you'd expect -- this was actually more the story of Donald Woods, played by Kevin Kline.

This was undoubtedly the making of Kline as a serious actor, and he was surprisingly good in the role.

Attenborough gave this the sort of direction you'd expect, and the often spectacular scenes of the masses were those of the sort that only he can get across.

The remainder of the cast was competent enough and did a good job, in what ends up as an ultimately sad tale of a South Africa that is still nowhere near the distant past.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Too much Donald Woods not enough Steve Biko D8Player
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great movie onlyastateofmind
Version of Nkosi Sikeleli Africa in this movie luccastrel
The countryside mikepth
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