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James Gregory once lived in a farm and had befriended a native youth, Bafana, and had even had a photograph taken with him. Years later, now married to Gloria and father of three children (Chris, Brett, and Natasha), James has nothing but shame and regret, as many South African Caucasians in the oppressive Apartheid-era ridiculed him, leading him to hate Africans. He seeks to redeem himself by spying on imprisoned African National Congress Leader, Nelson Mandela. In the restrictive high security prison his job is to censor all written and verbal communications between prisoners, their visitors, and correspondence. James is uncomfortable when he witnesses Caucasian police and security officers' brutality against civilians, including infants, and tries to understand why Nelson became a rebel. This leads him to examine the 'Freedom Charter', a banned document, reportedly known to incite violence against 'whites'. And when he does read this document, he changes his mind about Nelson's ... Written by
When the car explodes in front of an office building after two officers walk by, the blast should have shattered the office windows (and there are sounds of breaking glass), yet they remain intact. See more »
[in prison, to his visiting wife, speaking Xhosa; subtitles read]
Tell him that all of us in here agree he should escalate the armed struggle. The country must become ungovernable.
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This film, based on two very important men, is emotional and sincere but overall it is believable, every single moment is significant and told gracefully. A real life movie based is supposed to be precise without getting too much into detail - otherwise it turns boring - and so is "Goodbye Bafana", documenting 27 years in the life of this prison guard. Things and events described in the motion picture heat up gradually, the leading actors are simply outstanding so that the two hours runtime seems much shorter than it is. Haysbert is terrific, even more than Fiennes and they're both superb for their parts, with them each moment becomes increasingly more touching
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