7.0/10
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35 user 14 critic

A Dry White Season (1989)

Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as André Brink), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Captain Stolz (as Jurgen Prochnow)
...
...
Winston Ntshona ...
Thoko Ntshinga ...
Emily Ngubene
Leonard Maguire ...
Bruwer
Gerard Thoolen ...
Colonel Viljoen
...
Andrew Whaley ...
Chris
Rowen Elmes ...
Stella Dickin ...
Susan's Mother
David de Keyser ...
Susan's Father (as David De Keyser)
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Storyline

Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police at a demonstration by black school children, he gradually begins to realize his own society is built on a pillar of injustice and exploitation. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Assassinato Sob Custódia  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,766,879
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the court scene, Marlon Brando's character was supposed to insult the magistrate and be removed from the courtroom by two guards. Euzhan Palcy did four takes of the scene, but ultimately decided that the scene was too unintentionally comical. According to Palcy, Brando called her afterwards and confronted her about her decision, insisting that he liked the scene and wanted it to stay in the film to show that the law meant nothing in South Africa. He allegedly threatened to slander her name throughout Hollywood, but she refused to back down, and the scene was cut. See more »

Goofs

When the camera pulls away from the court house (Harare City Hall) a bus drives past displaying an advertisement for Balkan Bulgarian Airlines, which flew to Zimbabwe, but not to South Africa under apartheid during the 1970s. See more »

Quotes

Ben du Toit: If someone told you your child had died and wouldn't tell you how he died or where the body was buried, wouldn't you be upset?
See more »


Soundtracks

YINI KODWA YINI
Written by Joseph Shabalala
Performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
Produced by Danny Lawson for Night After Night Ltd.
Additional vocal performances by the cast of Sarafina
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User Reviews

 
watch it and never forget.
24 April 1999 | by See all my reviews

One day in South Africa in the 1960's, a young black man was walking along the street with his aged mother. Coming along the road was a young white man. The young black man knew that apartheid law and custom meant that the white would probably barge the two blacks off the pavement and into the gutter. The law would protect him and the young black man might be imprisoned for defending himself. The young black man tensed his muscles and prepared to defend his mother, but was amazed when the Englishman stepped off the pavement and doffed his broad brimmed hat in greeting. Later on the two would become friends and allies. The white man was to become bishop Trevor Huddleston, the black man, bishop Desmond Tutu.

That story is NOT the story of A Dry White season, but it is of a kindred spirit. Like the gesture of Trevor Huddleston, the story of Ben de Tor is a gesture against apartheid. A glimmer of hope, but merely that, a flicker.

It must be five years since I saw a Dry White Season but I still remember how I felt leaving the cinema. It is a film which will stay with you.

The plot follows a white South African on an adventure through bewilderment, revelation, denial, disgust, and a futile attempt to fight a grossly unfair system.

I can't go into detail after this length of time but the cameos in this film would be worth the video rental. Marlon Brando (yes) steals the show as the lawyer who knows exactly how hopeless the fight against apartheid is but agrees to fight anyway.

The political situation today in South Africa is a world away from that of A Dry White Season. Watch it and never forget.


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