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A political thriller: the real-life story of a South African hero's journey to freedom. In the country's turbulent and divided times in the 1980s, Patrick Chamusso is an oil refinery foreman and soccer coach who is apolitical - until he and his wife Precious are jailed. Patrick is stunned into action against the country's oppressive reigning system, even as police Colonel Nic Vos further insinuates himself into the Chamussos' lives. Written by
My children, when they speak if their father, they will say he was a man who stood up for what was right, a man who said he must do something now. What will your children say about you?
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As I started watching this movie, I thought Apartheid movies are like Holocaust movies---they are all the same theme repeated over and over again with minor variations. But something about this unfolding picture made me resist the eject button. One factor was, I think, that the Tim Robbins character was magnetically unpredictable. It was hard to predict what kind of a person he would ultimately turn out to be. Secondly, and maybe I missed something at the outset or went in with imperfect knowledge of the circumstances of the film, but only quite late in the picture did I realize that this was a biographical flashback of a national hero. That was refreshing to me. Heroic biopics generally seem to be trying too hard to lionize their subject. And finally, from all aspects of cinematography that a casual user like me can address, the picture was not that badly done. So, if you haven't seen many Apartheid-themed movies and would like to see a decent one, this would be a respectable choice. As a political aside, I found myself hoping that at least a few Americans would watch this picture and say "Hey, that's what we do to suspected terrorists, too!", and consider whether right and wrong are not all that easy to distinguish.
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