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Boesman and Lena (2000)

 |  Drama  |  4 April 2001 (France)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 202 users   Metascore: 59/100
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Intense love and hate bring a man and woman through personal tragedy.



(play), (adaptation)
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Cast overview:
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On a cold afternoon during the Apartheid era, an aging "Brown" couple arrive at the Swartkops mud flat near Cape Town. They are scavengers rousted out of their shanty town that morning by Afrikaners. They've walked all day carrying what they possess. She may be alcoholic, he's prone to anger: earlier that day, he beat her for something she didn't do. Over the next 12 or 15 hours, their relationship goes through a storm, partly as each remembers earlier events both happy and tragic, and because Lena, over Boesman's objections, takes into their camp an elderly Xhosa tribesman, a Black. Boesman is cruel to the old man, she is kind, and as rain heads toward them, a confrontation develops. Written by <>

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Official Sites:





Release Date:

4 April 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Boesman & Lena  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,684 (USA) (3 November 2000)


$32,148 (USA) (15 December 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Version of Boesman and Lena (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

An Intense, Powerful Drama
3 November 2000 | by (Pasadena, California, United States) – See all my reviews

It's always nice to see Angela Bassett getting to do a role that she can really sink her teeth into. She is at times intense, funny and even sexy in her role as Lena, a "colored" woman forced to make a home on a desolate mudbank just outside of Cape Town, South Africa. Danny Glover is also good in a not entirely sympathetic role as her partner, Boesman. Willie Jonah gives a finely nuanced performance as the stranger that discovers Boesman and Lena's new living area. It's not often that you get a chance to see an intelligent film dealing with mature themes. Although it is based on a play, the late director John Berry (who also directed Claudine) opens the material up by having the film shot in the widescreen Cinemascope format. He also keeps things visually interesting through the creative blocking of actors and by showing us things only mentioned in the play. Just like Diahann Carroll in Claudine, John Berry may have directed Angela Bassett into an Academy Award nomination. This is definitely a film worth searching for.

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