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The Color of Freedom (2007)

Goodbye Bafana (original title)
GOODBYE BAFANA is the true story of a white South African racist whose life was profoundly altered by the black prisoner he guarded for twenty years. The prisoner's name was Nelson Mandela.



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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shiloh Henderson ...
Brent Gregory
Brent Gregory
Megan Smith ...
Natasha Gregory
Jessica Manuel ...
Natasha Gregory
Faith Ndukwana ...
Zindzi Mandela
Leslie Mongezi ...
Zingizile Mtuzula ...
Raymond Mhlaba (as Zingi Mtuzula)
Mehboob Bawa ...
Shakes Myeko ...
Andrew Mlangeni
Sizwe Msutu ...
Cyril Ramaphosa


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 rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on the memoirs of Nelson Mandela's prison guard

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

11 April 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Goodbye Bafana  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Nelson Mandela: I have not touched my wife in twenty-one years.
See more »


Followed by Invictus (2009) See more »


Who But a Fool
(by Bob Barratt / Colin Frechter)
Music licensed courtesy of Carlin Music/G7 Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good story with problems in the telling
12 May 2008 | by (Philly) – See all my reviews

This film would have been easier to watch if the makers had cast a total unknown in the role of Mandela. I like Dennis Haysbert; he's a good actor, but he was miscast in the part of Nelson Mandela. There's a point in the film when Joseph Feinnes, in character, does a brief imitation of Mandela making a public statement; he does a very convincing job of it, and I thought:"This white guy would have made a better Nelson Mandela than we have here". Do the producers think that any black actor equals any other black actor? Why not place some South African character actor with a long, distinguished portfolio in the Mandela role? It seems obvious to me. Why go all the way to Hollywood for someone who's clearly wrong for the part? It's not a bad film-the motivation is clear, the pacing is OK, it held my interest...it just didn't present a convincing Nelson Mandela.

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