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Country of My Skull
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In My Country (2004) More at IMDbPro »Country of My Skull (original title)

Photos (See all 5 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
In My Country -- A cynical American journalist's affair with a beautiful Afrikaans reporter opens his eyes to the healing powers of forgiveness in post-apartheid South Africa.
In My Country -- Open-ended Trailer from Sony Pictures Classics


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Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Antjie Krog (book)
Ann Peacock (screenplay)
View company contact information for In My Country on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 May 2004 (Italy) See more »
A South African Story of Truth, Love and Reconcilliation
Langston Whitfield is a Washington Post journalist. His editor provocatively sends him to South Africa... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Political drama goes romantic See more (34 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Samuel L. Jackson ... Langston Whitfield

Juliette Binoche ... Anna Malan

Brendan Gleeson ... De Jager
Menzi Ngubane ... Dumi Mkhalipi (as Menzi 'Ngubs' Ngubane)
Sam Ngakane ... Anderson
Aletta Bezuidenhout ... Elsa
Lionel Newton ... Edward Morgan

Langley Kirkwood ... Boetie
Owen Sejake ... Reverend Mzondo
Harriet Lenabe ... Albertina Sobandia (as Harriet Manamela)
Louis van Niekerk ... Willem Malan
Jeremiah Ndlovu ... Old Man in Wheelbarrow
Fiona Ramsay ... Felicia Rheinhardt

Dan Robbertse ... De Smidt (as Daniel Robbertse)

Robert Hobbs ... Van Deventer
Lwando Nondzaba ... Peter Makeba
Trix Pienaar ... B&B Lady

Greg Latter ... Sgt. Dreyer
Albert Maritz ... Farmer
Sizwe Msutu ... Gilbert
Dumisani Mbebe ... Kenneth

Sunu Gonera ... Lionel

Nick Boraine ... Jack Marlon

Charley Boorman ... Adam Hartley
Connie Chiume ... Mrs. Tabata
Seumus Keir ... Simon
Nicholas Andrews ... Chris
Justin Creasy ... Chris
Junior Singo ... Troy (scenes deleted)
Yolanda Methvin ... Deborah (scenes deleted)

Grant Swanby ... Johan
Paul Eilers ... Police General
Anthony Fridjhon ... Tony Brown (scenes deleted) (as Anthony Fridjohn)
Bheki Vilakazi ... Perpetrator 1
Louw Venter ... Alec
Wayne Harrison ... Brian
Terry Norton ... Lilly

Andre Jacobs ... Judge
Alyce Chavunduka ... Newsreader
Lillian Dube ... Woman
Namhla Ndlovu ... Woman
Lee Duru ... Woman
Nambitha Mpumlwana ... Woman

Garrick Hagon ... Pilot
Johan Marais ... De Jager's Security
Morgan O'Callaghan ... De Jager's Security
Frederrick Dannhauser ... De Jager's Security
Andrew Johnson ... Taxi Driver
Lilian Khumalo ... Commissioner
Genesis Canda ... Commissioner
Tony Finley ... Commissioner
Biah Mokgobu ... Commissioner
Anthony Karriem ... Commissioner
Milton Daka ... Commissioner
Hiportia Hlatana ... Commissioner
Jefferine October ... Commissioner
Noliyanda Pike ... Commissioner
Beverley Bownes ... Commissioner
Justice Khontyo ... 2nd Judge
Denzil Campbel ... 3rd Judge
Christina Ntsomi ... Woman Phone Booth / Corn Field
Xhantyi Nqayi ... Herd Boy
Lulama J. Nombiba ... Langston's Father (scenes deleted) (as Lulama Nombiba)
Jean Abrahams ... Langston's Mother in Law (scenes deleted)
Thami Ngubeni ... Deborah's Aunt (scenes deleted)
Cindi Sampson ... Deborah's Aunt (scenes deleted)
Michelle Zaaiman ... Inge
Natasha Kotze ... Inge (voice)
Natalie Dippenaar ... Johan's Wife
Zoliswa Mabawa ... Malan Farmhouse Maid
Elizabeth Mokoatsana ... Crying Woman
John Coom ... Farmer's Father-in-law
Noel Coom ... Farmer's Mother-in-law
Shannen Mackay ... Farmer's Daughter
Xola Luse ... Perpetrator 2
Sacky Veto ... Old Man's Grandson
Mohogany Singiswa ... Old Man's Comforter
Moho Seabela ... Albertina's Friend
Zingisa Kobo ... Albertina's Friend
Landiwe Hans ... Albertina's Friend
John Zacharis ... Langston's Driver
Jamo Jahjah ... Soccer Ref (scenes deleted)
Brian Niewoudt ... Boere Orkes Band
Endrie Nel ... Boere Orkes Band
Nic Du Toit ... Boere Orkes Band
Stompie Heyns ... Boere Orkes Band
Susanna Vermeulen ... Boere Orkes Band
Paul Dirkson ... One Man Band
Russell Johnson ... Schempers
Morris Uberstein ... Bottle Shop Owner
Thembi Mtshali ... Lizzie
Lara Bye ... Alec's Wife
Marisa Sarfatti ... PR Person
Phumla Stamper ... Translator
Warona Seane ... Translator
John Langemann ... Afrikaner Next to Anna at Hearing
Nkuli Kgositsile ... Woman with Applications
Suzanne Bassett ... Anna Look-a-like
Amber Stodel ... Lily's Daughter
Yavor Radkov ... Taxi Driver
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Fana Mokoena ... Mandla (uncredited)

Directed by
John Boorman 
Writing credits
Antjie Krog (book "Country of My Skull")

Ann Peacock (screenplay)

Produced by
Chris Auty .... executive producer
Sam Bhembe .... executive producer
John Boorman .... producer
Jamie Brown .... executive producer
Robert Chartoff .... producer
Kieran Corrigan .... producer
Peter Fudakowski .... associate producer
Michael L. Games .... line producer
Niles E. Helmboldt .... associate producer
Lynn Hendee .... producer
Mike Medavoy .... producer
Neil Peplow .... executive producer
Duncan Reid .... executive producer
Mfundi Vundla .... executive producer
David Wicht .... co-producer: South Africa
Original Music by
Murray Anderson 
Cinematography by
Seamus Deasy 
Film Editing by
Ron Davis 
Casting by
Moonyeenn Lee 
Janet Meintjies 
Production Design by
Emilia Roux 
Derek Wallace 
Art Direction by
Emilia Roux  (as Emilia Roux-Weavind)
Set Decoration by
Graeme Blem 
Fred Du Preez 
Costume Design by
Jo Katsaras 
Makeup Department
Allan A. Apone .... makeup artist: Samuel L. Jackson
Annette Keet .... key hair stylist
Annette Keet .... key makeup artist
Robert L. Stevenson .... hair stylist: Samuel L. Jackson
Simone Stubbs .... assistant hair stylist
Simone Stubbs .... assistant makeup artist
Mieke Tait .... assistant hair stylist
Mieke Tait .... assistant makeup artist
Megan Tanner .... key hair stylist
Megan Tanner .... makeup department head
Leon von Solms .... makeup artist: Juliette Binoche
Victoria Wood .... wig maker: Samuel L. Jackson
Production Management
Sandra Campbell .... post-production supervisor
Genevieve Le Cordeur .... unit production manager
Morgan Pather .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kevan Barker .... second unit director
Gareth Bird .... third assistant director
Ryan Fox .... third assistant director
Diana Keam .... first assistant director
Carey Lagoe .... assistant director: second unit
Jon-Luke Lourens .... second assistant director
Matthew Muskett .... second second assistant director
Shamiel Soni .... third assistant director
Art Department
William Boyes .... stand-by props
Zaan De Villiers .... set dresser
Abdoulaye Diallo .... stand-by set dresser
Bryn George .... props buyer
Merinda Geyer .... art department coordinator
Brian Glaser .... assistant art director
Peter Hlongwane .... stand-by scenic artist
Andrew Orlando .... property master
Tracy Perkins .... set dresser
Arik Reiss .... storyboard artist
Matthews Sengasamore .... assistant stand-by props (as Matthews Senyasamore)
Brendan Smithers .... construction manager
Kobus Van Heerden .... painter
Chris van Latum .... art department production assistant
Sound Department
Alan Collins .... sound facility manager: ardmore sound
Brendan Deasy .... production sound mixer
Caoimhe Doyle .... additional foley artist
Martin Evans .... supervising sound editor
John Fitzgerald .... sound re-recording mixer
Joe Gilmore .... dialogue editor
Pauline Griffiths .... foley artist (as Pauline Vaughan-Griffiths)
Roland Hoek .... trainee dialogue editor
Tom Johnson .... sound re-recording mixer
Jenny Lee Wright .... foley artist (as Jenny Lee-Wright)
Fiadhnait McCann .... assistant sound editor
Mike Nyembe .... sound trainee
Jim Petrak .... adr recordist
Eddie Quinn .... boom operator
Nick Watson .... sound consultant: Dolby
Cathi Weldon .... foley editor
Brendan Geaney .... transfer recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Roly Jansen .... special effects coordinator
Cordell McQueen .... special effects coordinator
Anton Voster .... special effects crew
Clinton Smith .... skeleton model: assistant (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Tim Caplan .... digital intermediate producer
Dimitri Delacovias .... matte painting supervisor
William Foxwell .... digital lab operator: Lip Sync Post
Scott Goulding .... digital lab operator
Gavin Graham .... effects animator: Double Negative
Jan Hogevold .... production executive: Framestore CFC
Katja Hollmann .... digital lab supervisor: Lipsync Post
Alex Hope .... visual effects executive producer
Max Horton .... colourist
Graham Jack .... computer graphics supervisor
Katy Lemon .... digital lab operator: Lip Sync Post
Fay McConkey .... visual effects producer
Dan McRae .... digital cleanup artist
Charlie Noble .... visual effects supervisor
Paul Norris .... digital compositor
Kevan Shorey .... matchmove artist: Double Negative
Paola Varvaro .... digital artist
Steve Wagendorp .... digital colorist
Aubrey Woodiwiss .... digital clean-up
Roly Jansen .... stunt coordinator
Cordell McQueen .... stunt coordinator
Janine Wyatt-Mair .... stunt double
Camera and Electrical Department
Blid Alsbirk .... still photographer (as Karin 'Blid' Alsbirk)
Jens Bacher .... key grip: South Africa
Neil Baillie .... camera loader: "b" camera, second unit
Nick Barr .... electrician
Giulio Biccari .... camera operator: "b" camera, second unit
Meike Chinnery .... clapper loader
Harmon Cusack .... aerial camera operator: Wescam Camera
Felder Da Silva .... assistant grip
Shane Deasy .... focus puller
Colin Gottgens .... rigging grip: night
Chris Harker .... best boy grip
Clint Howes .... electrician: nights
Siphiso Jezile .... grip trainee
Hans Kühle Jr. .... camera operator: "b" camera, second unit (as Hans Kühle)
Allen Markham .... assistant grip
John Murphy .... dolly grip
John Murphy .... grip
Justin Paterson .... electrician
Tim Philipsen .... assistant grip: night
Daniel Pitso .... generator operator (as Danny Pitso)
Tell Reid .... electrician
Richard Rolf .... Steadicam operator
Wayne Shields .... rigging gaffer: nights
Johannes Thejane .... video operator
Jaco van Niekerk .... rigging grip
Adi Visser .... first assistant camera
Sven Vosloo .... assistant camera (segments)
Oliver Ward .... camera technician: Wescam camera
Michael Watts .... best boy electric
Casting Department
Russell Boast .... casting coordinator
J.P. van der Merwe .... extras casting agent
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kim du Plessis .... wardrobe assistant
Askia Won-Ling Jacob .... costumer: Samuel L. Jackson (as Askia Jacob)
Bernadine Preston .... seamstress
Zureta Schulz .... wardrobe supervisor
Thomaley van Niekerk .... key wardrobe stand-by
Widaad Williams .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Tim Caplan .... digital intermediate producer
Simon Davis .... first assistant editor
Tom Davis .... editorial trainee
Stuart Fyvie .... digital colorist
Max Horton .... digital film colorist
Kevin Phelan .... head of post-production: Lip Sync Post
Thomas Urbye .... on-line film editor
Jason Wheeler .... negative cutter
Music Department
Philip King .... music supervisor
Brian Masterson .... music editor
Tina Moran .... music coordinator
Transportation Department
Sean Berkhout .... transportation manager
Pieter De Lange .... action vehicle coordinator
Ilze Kitshoff .... driver: cast
Other crew
Gail Behrmann .... researcher
Chris Bohmenn .... helicopter pilot
Emma Callinan .... assistant to producer
Sandra Campbell .... assistant: John Boorman
Carol A. Compton .... script clearance
Chezlin Cross .... assistant: Kevan Barker
Peter Doyle .... on-set mechanic
Seth Games .... production assistant
Lori Imbler .... assistant: Robert Chartoff (as Lori Imbler Vernon)
François Lategan .... production assistant
Valerie Legrain-Doussau .... legal affairs
Natascha Leite .... production coordinator
Rhys Maitland-Jones .... sync rushes
Aaron Merrell .... production coordinator: Phoenix Pictures
Regan Mitchell .... tracking shots
Della Moore .... production accountant
Spud Murray .... animal wrangler
Louise Mycielski .... production coordinator
Luleka Florence Mzondo .... production secretary
Moroba Nkawe .... assistant: Lynn Hendee
Bill Olmsted .... helicopter pilot (as Bill Olmstead)
Morgan Pather .... location manager
Shamila Phillips .... account assistant
Peggy Plessas .... assistant: Juliette Binoche (as Peggy Hall-Plessas)
Mandy Raubenheimer .... accounts assistant
John Rogers .... set manager
Dezi Rorich .... unit publicity manager
Pete Smith .... key armorer
Hendrik H. Spangenberg .... base camp manager
Ollie Steele .... armorer
Michelle ten Haaf .... production accountant
Leonard L. Thomas .... assistant: Samuel L. Jackson (as Leonard Thomas)
Garin Van Munster .... head animal wrangler
Joan Washington .... dialogue coach
Laura Wilcox .... construction coordinator
David Alex Wilson .... unit publicist
William Chartoff .... assistant to producers (uncredited)
Michael J. Harker .... completion bond company representative (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Country of My Skull" - UK (original title)
See more »
Rated R for language, including descriptions of atrocities, and for a scene of violence
105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

[first lines]
Nelson Mandela:Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.
See more »
Movie Connections:
SenzeninaSee more »


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30 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
Political drama goes romantic, 12 February 2004
Author: SingleSimonSays from France

Country of My Skull had its world premiere at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival.

One of the most eagerly awaited films of the year, coming from veteran director John Boorman, has turned out to be a major disappointment. In retrospect it is not hard to see why, it should have been predicted, but the fascinating subject matter made it seem like Boorman was going to give us that rare treat - a balanced political drama, with insight and intelligence.

The problems with Country of My Skull all originate with the screenplay. It is loosely based on the novel of the same name by Antjie Krog. However Krog's novel was a non-fiction account of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) set up in the aftermath of Apartheid. The screenplay by Ann Peacock is a mere fiction where a lacklustre romance takes precedence over the main events.

Samuel L Jackson stars as Langston Whitfield a New York Times journalist who has been sent to South Africa to write a feature on the TRC. Here he meets Afrikaans poet and Journalist Anna Malan played by Juliette Binoche. At first the pair clash over their very different attitudes but as the real life accounts of torture and suffering inflicted during the Apartheid regime are recounted their attitudes towards each other soften and they fall in love even though both are married.

This is my biggest issue with the film. Peacock and Boorman for some utterly unknown reason have seen fit to invent a romance between the protagonists. This fictional romance muddles the intent of the film and belittles the very serious nature of a body such as the Truth and Reconciliation commission. I also have problems with the use of the American journalist. While he is obviously used in the screenplay as an outsider to explain the aim of the TRC to us, the uninitiated viewers, his reaction to what he is hearing is hard to credit.

Malan and Whitfield spend the first part of the film literally sparring over every aspect of the TRC. To him, any commission that doesn?t punish the perpetrators of such crimes is worthless, while for her reconciliation is more important. She is horrified by what she hears about a country she is passionate about. This should make for very interesting drama. However the dialogue between the pair is utterly ridiculous and often sounds more like two politically correct politicians than supposedly intelligent journalists. It is idealistic, unnatural and even risible.

As part of his assignment Whitfield tracks down the Apartheid police chief De Jaeger played by Brendan Gleeson. Whitfield conducts a series of interviews with this man, which are meant to illustrate the pure evil of the Apartheid regime, however the character as written by Peacock and played by Gleeson is more like an out and out Nazi baddie than a credible perpetrator of such crimes. Boorman has spiced these interviews throughout the film. They are distracting and somewhat simplistic.

All too often the film takes pedestrian material and adorns it with simplistic political motives. The use of a flat tyre and a local bar give Malan and Whitfield a chance to spend time together and soften towards each other as they embark on an affair which becomes the centre of the film. It is hard to credit that this would happen. Why Boorman and Peacock have done this is beyond me. The type of audience that would see this movie surely does not need romance to actually enjoy a film.

The only place the film scores any kudos is in the courtrooms of the TRC where horrifying evidence is recounted to a nation. However as the other parts of the film are so weak it is easy to be cynical about these sequences as they seem over manipulative and again badly written dialogue is a major stumbling point. Their content is however undeniably powerful.

Jackson and Binoche, fine actors when given the correct material, struggle with unforgiving roles. Both characters are under-written and remote. Jackson?s change of heart about events is hard to credit. Binoche struggles with an Afrikaans accent (sometimes doing surprisingly well for someone who is not a native English speaker). However her character is not well defined and is constantly laden down with the worst dialogue.

Certainly Boorman and Peacock?s intentions were genuine, but the screenplay should have focused entirely on the TRC, allowing the drama to emanate from that. Instead we are given a rather insipid love story that reduces the impact considerably. In doing this Boorman has failed to use his excellent cast to anything like their full potential and has undermined the whole project. A lot more work on the screenplay and this had the makings of a wonderful film.

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didn't feel the spirit of my country in this film safrican_d
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