IMDb > Bopha! (1993)
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Bopha! (1993) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 4 | slideshow) Videos
Bopha! -- Open-ended Trailer from Paramount


User Rating:
6.5/10   680 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 68% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Percy Mtwa (play)
Brian Bird (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Bopha! on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 September 1993 (USA) See more »
In this story of a black policeman during South African apartheid, Danny Glover plays the cop, who believes he's trying to help his people... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Just doesn't click, but still an important film See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order)

Danny Glover ... Micah Mangena

Malcolm McDowell ... De Villiers

Alfre Woodard ... Rosie Mangena

Marius Weyers ... Van Tonder

Maynard Eziashi ... Zweli Mangena

Malick Bowens ... Pule Rampa
Michael Chinyamurindi ... Solomon
Christopher John Hall ... Naledi Machikano
Grace Mahlaba ... Thokozile Machikano
Robin Smith ... Retleif
Julie Strijdom ... Lucy Van Tonder (as Julie Stridom)
Peter Kampila ... Nonsizt
Sello Maake ... Magubane (as Sello Maake Ka-Ncube)
Eric Miyeni ... Bantebe
Tshepo Nzimande ... Mandla
Wilfred Tongarepi ... Nkeala
Innocent Ngavaira ... Samuel
Gavin Mey ... White Policeman #1
Stan Leih ... White Policeman #2
Joseph Munyama ... Black Policeman #1
Zilla Mamansi ... Teacher
Gift Burnett ... Philomen
Akim Mwale ... Priest
Eric Nobbs ... Police Commissioner
Fidelis Cheza ... Josiah Machikano
Anna Manyewe ... Mrs. Machikano
Portleen Ben
Mary Makwangwalala ... Nemah
Bertha Msora ... Mother #1
Jane Nhukarume ... Mother #2
Winnie Ndemera ... Old Woman
Beauty Mamere ... Child in Police Station
Kizito Gamaliol ... Salomon's Henchman
Alec Ziko ... Salomon's Henchman
Sam Banda ... Police Cadet
Novar Piyo ... Police Cadet
Gibson Sarare ... Police Cadet
Rayford Mshanga ... Police Cadet
Gift Handiradi ... Police Cadet
Charles Thole ... Police Cadet
Peter Mudzingwa ... Police Cadet
Loius Chedemana ... Police Cadet
June Stanford ... Police Cadet

Directed by
Morgan Freeman 
Writing credits
Percy Mtwa (play)

Brian Bird (screenplay) &
John Wierick (screenplay)

Produced by
Michael L. Games .... associate producer
Arsenio Hall .... executive producer
Lori McCreary .... co-producer
Lawrence N. Taubman .... producer (as Lawrence Taubman)
Original Music by
James Horner 
Cinematography by
David Watkin 
Film Editing by
Neil Travis 
Production Design by
Michael Philips 
Art Direction by
Tracey Moxham 
Set Decoration by
Dankert Guillaume 
Costume Design by
Diana Cilliers  (as Dianna Cilliers)
Makeup Department
Kashka Banjoko .... key hair stylist
Jane Blewett .... hair stylist
Tracy Crystal .... makeup artist
Diane Hammond .... key makeup artist
Production Management
C. Cory M. McCrum-Abdo .... post-production supervisor
Barrie Melrose .... production supervisor
Karen Tangorra .... executive in charge of production (as Karen Tangorra)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ernest Binder .... third assistant director
Bill Westley .... first assistant director
Kevin Westley .... second assistant director
Art Department
Kudakwashe Alubembe .... construction foreperson
Michael Berg .... scenic artist
Heather Cameron .... set dresser
Morag Cameron .... set dresser
Kim Capsopoulos .... assistant art director
Weston Chabvuta .... props assistant
Sylvester Chawanda .... art set assistant
Costa Chikamba .... carpenter
Peter Chikamba .... carpenter
Hazel Crampton .... props coordinator
Keith Crossley .... storyboard artist
Michael Freeman .... chief set dresser
Arthur Goradema .... construction buyer
Demson Gwaruere .... assistant plasterer
Tendayi Gwaze .... props assistant
Ben Horowitz .... property master
Agatha Hurle .... art set assistant
David Kautare .... assistant carpenter
Richard Kendozwa .... painter
Stanley Kondo .... art set assistant
Paul Lloyd .... plasterer
Funki Loader .... set dresser
Cephas Mahlabathi .... art set assistant
Dexter Manata .... painter
Francis Matambo .... art set assistant
Peter Mgwenya .... art set assistant
Robert Moxham .... production props (as Robert 'Moxy' Moxham)
Greshen Mtongwizah .... assistant carpenter
Clemence Nalinge .... laborer
Peter Nyarambe .... props assistant (as Peter Nyarambi)
Shoniwa Pfunde .... assistant carpenter
Andrew Schweppenhauser .... construction coordinator
Lawrence Sora .... assistant painter
Kerry Wallace .... greensperson
Sound Department
David E. Campbell .... sound re-recording mixer (as David Campbell)
Gabriel Cubos .... boom operator
Pieter Hubbard .... sound editor
Allen Hurd .... dubbing recordist (as J. Allen Hurd)
Andy Kopetzky .... sound editor
Richard Lightstone .... sound mixer
Jimmy Ling .... sound editor
Colin McFarlane .... additional sound
James Moriana .... foley sound effects
Albert Mtukela .... sound assistant
Themba Nyamweda .... sound assistant
Bill Phillips .... supervising sound editor
John Phillips .... sound editor
John T. Reitz .... sound re-recording mixer (as John Reitz)
Gregg Rudloff .... sound re-recording mixer
Hal Sanders .... sound editor
Scott Shadden .... assistant sound editor
Patrick Wilbraham .... additional sound
Jeffrey Wilhoit .... sound effects (as Jeff Wilhoit)
Special Effects by
Andy Anderson .... special effects
Rick Cresswell .... special effects
Gavin Meadon .... special effects
Peter Spiropoulous .... special effects (as Peter Spyropoulos)
Gavin Mey .... stunt coordinator
Philip Notununu .... stunts (as Phillip Notununu)
Peter Spiropoulous .... assistant stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Wally Booysen .... electrician
Derek V. Browne .... camera operator (as Derek Browne)
Greg Cameron .... second company grip
Willy Chidyausiku .... grip assistant
Nomore Chitwe .... grip assistant
Harmon Cusack .... camera operator: "b" camera
Anton De Briun .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Hoseah Dzingirai .... camera assistant trainee
Vincent Fletcher .... assistant chief lighting technician
Bob Greene .... still photographer
John Hlapolosa .... generator operator
Eddie Knight .... chief lighting technician
Peter Makwela .... generator operator
Peter Malunga .... grip assistant
Guy Micheletti .... key grip
Stewart Monteith .... electrician
Mark Moriarty .... first assistant camera
Samson Mudzamiri .... electrician
Leonard Mundandi .... grip assistant
Grevas Muzenda .... additional assistant camera (as Grievas Muzenda)
Terrence Rodrigues .... grip assistant
Trynos Ruzani .... electrician
Karl Schoot .... additional assistant camera
Ralph Stutchbury .... additional assistant camera
Wayne Stutchbury .... additional assistant camera
Robson Svovera .... electrician
Rys Vincent .... second assistant camera
Casting Department
Leo Davis .... casting associate
Barbara Harris .... voice casting
Douglas Rodriguez .... casting assistant
Jane Warren .... location casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Leigh Bishop .... wardrobe supervisor
Elaine Dawson .... wardrobe buyer
Electra Garaba .... wardrobe assistant
Shoni Kaitano .... wardrobe assistant
Virginia Mkhize .... wardrobe assistant
Norman Samuriwo .... tailor
Editorial Department
Andrew S. Eisen .... first assistant editor
Michael H. Friedlander .... assistant editor
Megan Gill .... second assistant editor
Phil Hetos .... color timer (as Philip Hetos)
Andrew MacRitchie .... assistant editor: London
Theresa Repola Mohammed .... negative cutter
Tim Tommasino .... first assistant editor
Donald Freeman .... final colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Michael Fisher .... musician (as Mike Fisher)
Ralph Grierson .... musician
Jim Henrikson .... supervising music editor
James Horner .... musician
Warren Luening .... musician (as Warren Luening Jr.)
Kazu Matsui .... musician
Shawn Murphy .... score mixer
Joe E. Rand .... music editor
Ian Underwood .... musician
Transportation Department
Sieg Broekman .... action vehicle coordinator
Paul Fisher .... transportation manager
Singh Hardeep .... action vehicle assistant
Coaster Nziramasanga .... transportation assistant
Dionne Warren .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Zola Abraham .... adr loop group
Ayo Adejugbe .... adr loop group
Andy Birmingham .... production executive
Phillip Boutte .... adr loop group
Stanley Bennett Clay .... adr loop group
Con Cremins .... production accountant
Betsy Danbury .... post-production accountant
Michelle Davison .... adr loop group
Cohen Duncan .... adr loop group
Dale Edwards .... unit assistant
Michael Fillbright .... adr loop group
Alfonso Freeman .... adr loop group
Jerry Gaona .... adr loop group
Kevin Greetham .... location manager
Patience Gwende .... accounting assistant
J.D. Hall .... adr loop group
Barbara Harris .... adr loop group (as Barbara Iley)
Monnla Hlahla .... adr loop group
Emma Kaye .... production secretary
Momsa Khumalo .... adr loop group
Lwazi Kubukeli .... adr loop group
Thathakahle Kuneine .... adr loop group
Caseline T. Kunene .... adr loop group (as Caseline Kunene)
Lama Khosi Kunene .... adr loop group
Raymond Kunene .... adr loop group
Ron Kunene .... adr loop group
Sambulo Kunene .... adr loop group
John Lafayette .... adr loop group
Laura Law .... adr loop group
Refiloe Lethoko .... adr loop group
Lebo M. .... adr loop group
David Mabowe .... adr loop group
Lucky Mabowe .... adr loop group
Sonya Maddox .... adr loop group
Patrick Magapi .... adr loop group
Marie Mahlanza .... adr loop group
Patrice Makgale .... adr loop group
Nola Mangoaela .... adr loop group
Abner Mariri .... adr loop group
Wayne McKop .... production assistant
Nonhlanhla Mkhize .... adr loop group (as Ruth Mkhize)
Joyce Mtinkulu .... adr loop group
Alice Munharira .... production assistant
Tebogo Njobe .... adr loop group
Peggy Ntswane .... adr loop group
Huck Penzell .... titles
Sam Phillips .... adr loop group
Quentin Pierre .... assistant: Mr. Freeman
Montsikelelo Pietesson .... adr loop group
Juan Pope .... adr loop group (as J. Lamont Pope)
Samantha Putter .... production coordinator
Erica Rogers .... adr loop group
Pearl Seloma .... adr loop group
Thula Shangase .... adr loop group
Sydney Shorana .... adr loop group
Cheryl Tyre Smith .... adr loop group (as Cheryl Tyre-Smith)
Anna C. Southall .... unit publicist (as Anna Southall)
Chris Sparkes .... projection dummy loader (as Christine Sparkes)
Peter Sweetman .... location assistant
Karen Tangorra .... production associate
Drew Tucker .... production assistant
Antoinette van Speyk .... script supervisor (as Antoinette Wilkinson)
George Vilakazi .... adr loop group
Linda Vilane .... adr loop group
John Webb .... adr loop group
Thabi Zkalala .... adr loop group
John E. Ferraro .... production executive (uncredited)
Jay Sheveck .... premiere and release (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for language and apartheid-driven violence
120 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Morgan Freeman's first film as a director.See more »


What does Bopha mean?
See more »
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Just doesn't click, but still an important film, 9 June 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

Although Bopha! is somewhat moving, and it's certainly about an important historical subject, it should have been much more moving than it is, and I don't give films extra points for their non-filmic references, no matter how important the subject is. Looking at the film purely as a self-contained artwork, it has a fair share of problems, including characterization and other script deficiencies as well as oddly flat direction.

The setting of the film is South Africa in 1980, in the Moroka section of Soweto, on the outskirts of Johannesburg (although in reality it was shot in Zimbabwe, since Apartheid had not yet ended while filming--that didn't occur until 1994). Historically, 1980 was somewhat of a middle period of internal opposition to Apartheid, which the South African government had begun to press even harder in the 1960s, leading to increasing protests and demonstrations and their attendant violence throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Bopha! was originally a play by South African writer Percy Mtwa, and was earlier made into a semi-documentary television program that aired on PBS in the United States in 1986. Compared to the play, the film, directed by Morgan Freeman (his only directorial turn to date) significantly changes many of the characters, much of the story, and even the ending, which here is appropriately far more troubled and ambiguous than the "ray of hope" ending of the play.

The story is centered on Micah Mangena (Danny Glover) and his family, wife Rosie (Alfre Woodard) and son Zweli (Maynard Eziashi). Micah is trying to better his family with his income as a policeman, but it's a time when black policeman are seen as traitors to their own people, since they're enforcing the laws of Apartheid. The negative attitude towards them, approaching ostracism and in some cases lynching, even carries over to policeman's families. Despite the risk and periodic threats, Micah hopes that Zweli will follow in his footsteps, as it is a more desirable choice than the alternatives, and at first, Zweli plans to. But in school, Zweli's friends gain courage to organize protests, and Zweli helps them out by arranging a meeting with a famed local anti-Apartheid activist, Pule Rampa (Malick Bowens). Rampa is considered a "terrorist" by the authorities, and merely meeting to discuss such political issues is against the law, so turmoil quickly follows and ends up forcing father and son on different sides of the law.

Although Micah gets a lot of screen time and we learn something about the character, Freeman is unable to overcome an emotional distancing that makes it difficult to become invested as a viewer. Rosie and Zweli get less screen time, and feel even more distant. This especially hurts in the case of Zweli, as his character arc is essential to the impact of the film. For a large chunk of the middle, Zweli inexplicably disappears. The more minor characters can become completely lost and it is not always easy to keep track of them. It's difficult to not feel that Marius Weyers, as Micah's boss Van Tonder--the mostly understanding white guy, and Malcolm McDowell, as the villainous De Villers, aren't largely wasted. This is not to say that the events in the film involving all of the principal characters are not impactful, or that the actors do not turn in decent performances, but there just seems to be something relatively ineffable missing in the "chemistry" between performance, direction, script and editing.

I found it odd that one reviewer described Bopha! as an "action" film. Yes, there are scenes of protests turning to violence, there are scenes of protesters running from the police, being chased and occasionally being shot and so forth, but these are not at all the focus of the film. Far more often, Freeman goes about his realist drama story very deliberately. Some viewers--my wife was one--may feel that the film is too slow. And consider that my wife is from South Africa--she lived in the government's Indian settlement, Lenasia, right next to Soweto, and experienced similar events! So it's not that she was not interested in the material.

Freeman's directorial style is fairly pedestrian. He blocks scenes and conveys actions clear enough. He is rarely "showy" with his cinematography, although there are a couple shots of nice scenery, a nice wide shot of the township standing in for Soweto, a couple shots of sunsets and such. But this is a film that wants to hinge solely on its performances and on a heart-wrenching story in a complex time of turmoil. There are moments, such as a death in jail, a burned structure, characters who are shot, shot at and stabbed, and so on that should be as powerful as just about anything one can see in the cinema. But something about the story just doesn't click. It just feels too lightweight for what it should be, and consider this--I'm a viewer who very easily becomes emotional with such material; I very easily cry when I watch films. Unfortunately, I didn't shed a tear while watching Bopha!

Still, the subject and its handling are competent enough, and the historical content important enough to warrant a slight recommendation, especially for anyone who wants or needs to get a small glimpse into what Apartheid was about. The best film about Apartheid-era South Africa has not yet been made but needs to be. Until then, Bopha! and a handful of others, such as Cry Freedom (1987) and Mandela (1987), will have to suffice.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (11 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Bopha! (1993)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Great film! Orni86
Maynard Eziashi (not the guy for the role) Sanucci
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Hearts and Minds Inside Heart Condition A Bronx Tale The Long Walk Home
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.