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Langston Whitfield is a Washington Post journalist. His editor provocatively sends him to South Africa to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in which the perpetrators of murder and torture on both sides during Apartheid are invited to come forward and confront their victims. By telling the unvarnished truth and expressing contrition, they may be granted amnesty. Can the deep wounds of Apartheid be healed through reconciliation? Langston is deeply skeptical. He tracks down Col. De Jager, the most notorious torturer in the SA Police and tries to penetrate the mind of a monster, an experience that obliges him to confront his own demons. Anna Malan is an Afrikaans poet who is covering the hearings for radio. As a white South African she is shattered by the accounts of the cruelty and depravity committed by her fellow countrymen. Anna and Langston must both question their sense of identity. Where do they each belong? How responsible are they for what is done in the ... Written by
While not as powerful as "Hotel Rwanda," John Boorman's look at the relationship between whites and blacks in post-Apartheid South Africa is compelling nonetheless!
Director John Boorman has taken on a weighty and incendiary subject, much like Terry George's recent take on genocide in "Hotel Rwanda." Although "In My Country" is set post-Apartheid, it still covers a hot topic: what do you do with the people that are to blame when a genocide occurs? President Nelson Mandela formed a commission to get at the truth and in return for that information he was offering amnesty for those government officers that were only 'following orders'. An amazing precedent to say the least.
However, director Boorman has chosen to balance the emotional testimony of the victims with a sometimes humorous side-story involving an American journalist, played by the great Samuel L. Jackson ("Coach Carter") and a local 'white' radio reporter, played by the equally great Juliette Binoche ("The English Patient").
Certainly, a story of this import deserves a documentary but as it stands, this is as close as any American will ever get to this story since many newspapers buried it when it originally occurred. Racism is an ugly thing, but forgiveness is a beautiful thing and this movie balances the two in an effective and entertaining manner.
Check this one out, especially if you are a fan of "Hotel Rwanda" and hearing the 'truth' for a change.
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