IMDb > The Color of Freedom (2007)
Goodbye Bafana
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Color of Freedom (2007) More at IMDbPro »Goodbye Bafana (original title)

Photos (See all 3 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.1/10   9,417 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for The Color of Freedom on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 April 2007 (Belgium) See more »
Based on the memoirs of Nelson Mandela's prison guard
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
(31 articles)
Girard seeks Euro support for Cunningham
 (From ScreenDaily. 25 January 2015, 3:19 AM, PST)

Kami Naghdi joins Clintons
 (From ScreenDaily. 1 July 2014, 5:01 AM, PDT)

Portrayals of South African Leader Mandela on the Big Screen. Any Truthful Ones?
 (From Alt Film Guide. 6 December 2013, 3:17 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Not without merit, in this fanciful retelling of mutual respect between a prison guard and Mandela, but 'Apartheid for Dummies' is what it annoyingly all too often resembles. See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order)

Joseph Fiennes ... James Gregory

Dennis Haysbert ... Nelson Mandela

Diane Kruger ... Gloria Gregory

Patrick Lyster ... Major Pieter Jordaan
Shiloh Henderson ... Brent Gregory

Tyrone Keogh ... Brent Gregory
Megan Smith ... Natasha Gregory
Jessica Manuel ... Natasha Gregory
Faith Ndukwana ... Winnie Mandela
Terry Pheto ... Zindzi Mandela
Leslie Mongezi ... Walter Sisulu
Zingizile Mtuzula ... Raymond Mhlaba (as Zingi Mtuzula)
Mehboob Bawa ... Ahmed Kathrada
Shakes Myeko ... Andrew Mlangeni
Sizwe Msutu ... Cyril Ramaphosa
Khaya Sityo ... Jonas Motsadi
Warrick Grier ... Vann Niekerk
Clive Fox ... Col Pier Barnard
Eduan van Jaarsveldt ... Sgt Chris Brits
Claire Berlein ... Sannie
Jennifer Stein ... Joyce Barnard (as Jennifer Steyn)

Andre Jacobs ... Brigadier Morkel

Mark Elderkin ... Vosloo
Danny Keogh ... Coloner Stander
Marko van der Colff ... Dannie Bosman
Corien Pelt ... Lynette
Neels Van Jaarsveld ... Boytjie
Garth Breytenbach ... Jack Steyn
Louis van Niekerk ... Generel Voster

Adrian Galley ... Brigadier Kemp
Norman Anstey ... Jimmy Kruger
Trix Pienaar ... Barbara

Dan Robbertse ... Captain Nel
Zolile Nokwe ... Hangula
Willy Harzon ... Pollsmoor Captain
Paula Pursch ... Librarian
Albert Maritz ... Library security guard
Bernice Mpinda ... Elderly black lady
Michele Belknap ... Librarian receptionist
Thomas Galvin ... Young James
Bulelani Sonqishe ... Bafana
Martin Le Maitre ... Quartermaster
Kyle Solms ... Young warder
Graham Weir ... Tough warder
Mauro Stephano Faraoni ... Warder at harbour
Zikhona Mda ... Zenani (as Zikhonna Mda)
Antonio Cencherle ... Gate guard
Bulelwa Cosa ... Black lady with child
Matthew Dylan Roberts ... Man in suit (as Mathew Roberts)
Alessandra Vinciguerra ... Lady in blue
Charl van Heyningen ... News reader 1982
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrew Germishuys ... Prison Warden (uncredited)
Giulia Troiano ... Voice Italian Version (uncredited)

Directed by
Bille August 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Bille August 
Bob Graham  book
James Gregory  book
Greg Latter  adaptation
Greg Latter  screenplay

Produced by
Carola Ash .... associate producer: Future Films
Frédéric Bal .... line producer: Arsam International
Dianne Beatty .... line producer: South Africa
Guillaume Benski .... associate producer: Arsam International
Roberto Cipullo .... producer: Fonema SPA
Jimmy de Brabant .... executive producer
Kwesi Dickson .... producer: Future Films
Michael Dounaev .... executive producer
Alison Ellard .... development producer
Ilann Girard .... producer: Arsam International
Michel Houdmont .... executive producer: Banana Films
Skady Lis .... executive producer: X Filme Creative Pool
Stephen Margolis .... executive producer: Future Films
Kami Naghdi .... executive producer
Livio Negri .... associate producer: Fonema SPA
Marc Noyons .... executive producer: Banana Films
Gherardo Pagliei .... producer: Fonema SPA
Christine Raspillère .... line producer: Arsam Interational
Andro Steinborn .... producer: X Filme Creative Pool
Jean-Luc Van Damme .... producer: Banana Films
David Wicht .... producer: Film Afrika
Luciano Sovena .... co-producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Dario Marianelli 
Cinematography by
Robert Fraisse (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Hervé Schneid 
Casting by
Billy Hopkins 
Moonyeenn Lee 
Paul Schnee 
Production Design by
Tom Hannam 
Art Direction by
Jonathan Hely-Hutchinson 
Set Decoration by
Zaan De Villiers 
Costume Design by
Diana Cilliers 
Makeup Department
Hugo Bornman .... chief hair stylist
Tammy-Lee Cameron .... dailies hair stylist
Pia Cornelius .... hair designer
Pia Cornelius .... makeup designer
Melanie Gillmer .... assistant make-up student
Kathy Nkoni .... hair stylist trainee
Kathy Nkoni .... makeup artist trainee
Debbie Rogovsky .... makeup artist
Jill Swain .... hair stylist assistant
Production Management
Dominique Boussagol .... post-production manager: France
Sudoor Conrad .... unit manager: second unit (as Conrad Suroor)
Guy Courtecuisse .... post-production supervisor
Vlokkie Gordon .... head of production: Film Afrika
Varujan Gumusel .... post-production manager: France
Natalie Rademeyer .... production manager
Neil Van Der Linde .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chris Gilliam .... first assistant director: second unit
Alberto Ianuzzi .... second unit director (as Alberto Iannuzzi)
Morena Medi .... co-third assistant director
Gerhard Mostert .... third assistant director
Alan Raad .... co-third assistant director
Makkie Slamong .... second second assistant director
Guy Travers .... first assistant director
Patricia Wheeler .... second assistant director
Shamiel Soni .... additional second second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Edward Arendse .... carpenter
Mark Baatjes .... carpenter
Jerome Brown .... set dresser
Colin Calipa .... carpenter
Adieu Cameron .... storeman
Emile Coetzee .... carpenter
Barry Coetzer .... stand-by set dresser
Maria Constantinides .... art department coordinator
Christopher Crowster .... carpenter
Christopher Crowster .... painter
Jason Crowster .... assistant carpenter
Dylan Culhane .... art department researcher
Greg Davis .... construction director
Storm Dyssell .... stand-by props
Michael Fernandes .... art department production assistant
Murray Grier .... carpenter
Dylan Johnson .... set dressing leadman
Phillip Khan .... carpenter
Vincent Khentani .... carpenter
Egbert Kruger .... property master
Jerry Kundati .... swing gang 3
George Malabo .... set dressing assistant (as George Malobo)
Paul Marais .... carpenter
Elias Mawela .... swing gang 1
Leonard Mcamani .... carpenter
Sean Moran .... carpenter
Khaya Nangle .... set dressing runner
Shadrack Ndhlovu .... swing gang 2
David Ntete .... storeman
Tom Olive .... additional set dresser (as Thomas Olive)
Hugo Q. .... carpenter
Gareth Roux .... carpenter
Malcolm Stain .... paint sprayer
Nolan Van Rooyen .... assistant stand-by props
Andre Van Vuuren .... carpenter
Kelvin Whitaker .... carpenter
Claude Wittwen .... props buyer
Rae Wynna-Roberts .... scenic artist (as Rae W. Roberts)
David Wynne-Roberts .... scenic artist (as David W. Roberts)
Simon Zikhali .... carpenter
Sound Department
Jonathan Acbard .... boom operator
Dirk Bombey .... sound mixer
Dirk Bombey .... sound
Frédéric Cattoni .... sound consultant: DTS
Sandra Demoyer .... sound post-production administrator
Alek Goosse .... adr recordist
Alek Goosse .... foley recordist
Alek Goosse .... sound
Alek Goosse .... supervising re-recording mixer
Gert Janssen .... dialogue editor
Gert Janssen .... sound editor
Conrad Kuhne .... sound mixer: Lsecond uniut (as Conrad Kühne)
Caroline Landsweerdt .... assistant sound editor
Frédéric Maes .... sound post-production coordinator
Michel Monier .... sound consultant: Dolby (as Michel Moiner)
Julien Naudin .... foley artist
Herman Pieëte .... sound designer
Herman Pieëte .... sound
Herman Pieëte .... supervising sound editor
Pascale Schaer .... sound technician
Jonathan Vanneste .... sound technician
Dirk Bombey .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Doug Hardy .... special effects technician
Roly Jansen .... special effects technician: second unit
John Smith .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Vadim Androussoff .... digital compositor: Duran Duboi
Christophe Belena .... technical coordinator: Duboicolor
Coralie Boulay .... digital coordinator: Duboicolor
Stephanie Broussaud .... lustre assistant: Duboicolor
Guillaume Carniato .... digital compositor: Duran Duboi
Alain Carsoux .... visual effects supervisor: Duran Duboi
Nicolas Daniel .... data management: Duboicolor
Bertrand de Saint Seine .... visual effects editor: Duran Duboi
Séverine De Wever .... visual effects coordinator: Duran Duboi
Ludivine Ducrocq .... visual effects assistant: Duran Duboi
François Dupuy .... technical engineer: Duboicolor
Thomas Jodeau .... scanner: Duboicolor
Abdel Ali Kassou .... technical manager: Duboicolor
Emmanuel Le Courbe .... digital compositor: Duran Duboi
Delphine Le Roch .... visual effects coordinator: Duran Duboi
Brice Leclert .... scanner: Duboicolor
Tina Lin .... technical coordinator: Duboicolor
Sergeï Lourié .... digital compositor: Duran Duboi (as Sergei 'Cloun' Lourie)
Loriane Lucas .... digital preparation: Duboicolor
Nolween Moign .... data management: Duboicolor
Benoit Philippon .... digital compositor: Duran Duboi
Etienne Salançon .... digital compositor: Duran Duboi
John Smith .... visual effects supervisor
Mikael Tanguy .... digital compositor: Duran Duboi
Laetitia Tomasi .... digital coordinator: Duboicolor
Edouard Valton .... visual effects: Duran Duboi
Tommaso Vergallo .... digital camera manager: Duboicolor
Jean-Nicolas Costa .... additional compositing (uncredited)
Guillaume Le Gouez .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Dan Hirst .... stunts (as Daniel Hirst)
Julian Koberman .... stunt double
Anton Moon .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Blid Alsbirk .... still photographer
Dax Bailey .... spark
Jean DeKock .... spark (as Jean De Kock)
Shervaun Diaz .... cable basher
Carl Eksteen .... first assistant camera: second unit
Sarel Eloff .... first assistant camera
Vincent Fletcher .... gaffer
Andrew Green .... grip assistant
Shani Hayward .... second assistant camera
Mackie Iyoka .... vtr operator
Ricardo Koopman .... second assistant camera: second unit
Chris Lomax .... director of photography: second unit
Henri Marais .... best boy grip
Julious Mudeh .... darkroom loader
Justin Paterson .... lighting best boy
Richard Rolf .... Steadicam operator
Bruno Shosha .... generator operator
Alfre Theron .... grip assistant
Ray Wilsnaugh .... key grip (as Ray Wilsnagh)
Casting Department
Kerry Barden .... casting
Suzanne Crowley .... casting
Belinda Kruger .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rebecca Daniel .... seamstress
Shaida Dramat .... seamstress (as Shahida Dramat)
Gillian Florence .... key wardrobe stand-by
Jayne Forbes .... costume supervisor
Nawaal Hendriks .... assistant wardrobe stand-by (as Nawaal Hendricks)
Charlene Johnson .... seamstress
Josephine Samuelson .... wardrobe trainee
Mandy Smit .... wardrobe assistant
Shakier Starck .... wardrobe assistant
Ronel Wagner .... pattern cutter (as Ronel Wagener)
Miriam Williams .... seamstress
Editorial Department
Elisa Aboulker .... second assistant editor
Serge Anthony .... color timer: France (as Serge Antony)
Feriel Benouarka .... post-production coordinator: France (as Fériel Benourka)
Jerome Brechet .... editor: pan & scan
Stephanie Broussaud .... digital intermediate editor
Christelle Didier .... assistant to post-production supervisor
Andreas Dobers .... post-production: X Filme Creative Pool
Anne-Marie Etcheverry .... negative cutter: France
Claire Fieschi .... second assistant editor
Benoït Hay .... post-production coordinator: Scanlab
Élodie Ichter .... digital intermediate editor
Graham Jukes .... colorist
Ariane Lippens .... editor: making of
Charlotte Mazzinghi .... colorist
Louise Mycielski .... post-production supervisor: Waterfront Studios
Matthys Pretorius .... assistant editor
Svetlana Vaynblat .... first assistant editor
Music Department
James Bellamy .... music editor
Ruth Chan .... music preparation
Gordon Davidson .... assistant music engineer
Peter Fuchs .... music engineer
Janice Graham .... orchestra leader
Madosini .... musician: african bows
Madosini .... musician: solo vocalist
Dario Marianelli .... conductor
Dario Marianelli .... orchestrator
Maggie Rodford .... score coordinator: Air-Edel
Hilary Skewes .... musician contractor: Buick Productions
Nick Taylor .... assistant music engineer
Richard Tunnicliffe .... musician: viola da gamba
Benjamin Wallfisch .... orchestrator
Transportation Department
David Aphiri .... driver: makeup truck
Trevor Cope .... driver: grip truck
Sedan Cunningham .... driver: catering
Clinton De Villiers .... driver: cast, South Africa (as Clint De Villiers)
Quiven Diakazebi .... driver: set dressing (as Quevin Diakazebi)
Wiseman Dinizulu .... driver: spark truck
Reny Djieutcheu .... driver: camper (as Remy Djieutcheu)
Paddy Ellis .... picture vehicle coordinator
Jessie Fourie .... transportation coordinator
Gary Good .... driver: cast, children
Denzel Grahn .... picture vehicle assistant
Issa Inussa .... driver: wardrobe truck
Ryder Jaxa .... driver: camper
Joshua Kabanda .... driver: prop truck
Sam Kabanda .... driver: picture vehicle
Makaya Lamdry .... driver: camper
Eugene Le Roux .... driver
Wilbur Louw .... driver
Didier Malanga .... driver: set dressing truck
Milos Malonga .... driver: camper
Feli Masango .... driver: production truck
Adrian Matthyse .... driver: picture vehicle
Sisa Oswald Mene .... driver: pool
Mbuyiselo Minqayi .... driver: pool
Fanie Muntz .... driver: crew, South Africa
John Mwanisoh .... driver: unit truck
Debrime Pereira .... driver: makeup bus
Sandile Phambili .... driver: camera ttuck (as Sandile Phambile)
Daniel Smith .... driver: camper
Neil Van Der Linde .... transportation manager
Other crew
Paul Acutt .... marine coordinator
June Alrick .... tutor: Shiloh & Megan
Valentina Ambra .... production assistant: Fonema SPA
James Baillie .... chaperone: Diane Kruger
Jason Ballard .... runner: second unit
Hugh Barret .... financial controller: Film Afrika (as Hugh Barrett)
Mark Beaumont .... supervising accountant: Future Films
Edward Beeka .... security
Robert Bentley .... location manager
Claire Berlein .... dialogue coach: South Africa
Alexandre Berman .... production assistant: Arsam International
Abednico Bixa .... general worker
Goodman Bixa .... general worker
Mark Cain .... petty cash clerk
Morag Cameron .... script supervisor
Camille Charriére .... title credits: EDITORS, Paris
Dylan Chegwidden .... stand-in: James
Ellen Cilliers .... production secretary
Charles-Henri Clodion .... title credits: EDITORS, Paris
Thembisa Cochrane .... production receptionist
Kerry Commins .... location scout
Simon Coppoy .... production assistant: Banana Films
Brian Cordray .... development consultant: X Filme Creative Pool
Brian Cordray .... script consultant
Michelle Coscia .... procurer
Nicholas Dalton .... french counsel: Arsam International
Phillip De Beer .... payroll clerk
Kurt De Villers .... unit assistant
Henri De Villiers .... unit assistant
Clifford Delcie .... location assistant
Pierpaolo Di Lembi .... runner: Fonema SPA
Sabrina Duguet .... production assistant: Arsam International
Jules Elvins .... legal: Future Films
Isabelle Fauvel .... development consultant: Arsam International
Valentia Fisher .... location coordinator
Power Fudukile .... general worker
Patrick Hans .... finance & administration: Banana Films
Doug Hardy .... runner: second unit
Gai Harvison-Petzer .... accounts supervisor: South Africa
Marie-Noëlle Hauville .... accountant supervisor: Arsam International
Cordula Herrmann .... accountant: X Filme Creative Pool
Ricardo Highburg .... unit assistant
Caitlin Hugo .... stand-in: Gloria
Annette Jacobs .... administrator
Roysten Jacobs .... unit set production assistant
Mervin Japhta .... assistant catering team leader
Aparna Jayachandran .... continuity trainee
Warren Patrick Jordaan .... unit assistant trainee
Marcos Kantis .... production consultant: X Filme Creative Pool
James Kay .... legal services: Olswang, London
Kenneth Kleinberg .... legal services: Kleinberg Lopez Brisbin Cuddy & Edel, Los Angeles
Ayande Kondile .... general worker
Carol Kruger .... accounts supervisor: South Africa
Valerie Legrain-Doussau .... business affairs: Film Afrika (as Valérie Legrain-Doussau)
A. Fredric Leopold .... legal services: Leopold Petrich, Los Angeles (as Frederick Leopold)
Jan Lohfeldt .... chaperone: cast, children
Bizeki Magwanda .... chaperone: Joseph Fiennes
Dona Malebo .... craft service team leader
Jerome Mampassa .... craftee
Tatenda Matienga .... base camp craftee
Sebastian Matthys .... unit assistant (as Secastian 'Bassie' Matthys)
Maria Maya .... accountant: Banana Films
Jackie Mayou .... extras coordinator
James Mbombo .... general worker
Kevin McBain .... creditors accountant
Joyce Monametsi .... office assistant
Alessandra Moresco .... production coordinator: Future Films
Pierre-Emmanuel Mouthuy .... belgian counsel: Banana Films
Sizwe Msutu .... dialogue coach: Xhosa
Lesley-Anne Mulder .... representative: Metal Moon Marketing
Mark Murray .... animal wrangler: dogs
Mishack Musonza .... catering hand
Vincent Ndikumana .... chaperone: Dennis Haysbert
Henrietta Ngcebetsha .... office assistant (as Hendrietta Ngcebetsha)
Lewis Nguwata .... general worker
Monde Colin Ntilashe .... filing clerk
Thoko Ntshinga .... dialogue coach: Xhosa
Maxwell Ntsokota .... general worker
Lincon Panya .... general worker
Kerryn Pitt .... unit medic
Annabel Plant .... legal: Future Films
Andre Poggenpoel .... catering team leader
Melvin Qajana .... general worker
Nic Ransome .... script consultant: Future Films
Nicoletta Ricciardi .... production coordinator: Fonema SPA (as Nicoletta Riccardi)
Mathieu Robinet .... assistant to producer: Future Films
Caroline Rodriguez .... script consultant: Arsam International
Véronique Rofé .... production coordinator: Arsam International (as Véronique Rofe)
Benoit Roland .... production coordinator: Banana Films
Dezi Rorich .... unit publicist
Maxine Ross .... runner: Future Films
Jessica Rosselet .... production assistant: Arsam International
Millicent Rweca .... craftee
Sophie Saleyron .... press attache: France
Paolo Scarponi .... administration: Fonema SPA
Aubrey Simpson .... chaperone: Bille August
Sybil Simpson .... production assistant
Siya Sityana .... set production assistant
Veronica Snyders .... assistant extras coordinator
Philipp G. Steffens .... financing consultant
Benjamin Stieborn .... accountant: Banana Films
Nadja Stoyan .... trainee: X Filme Creative Pool
Nicolas Taffin .... production coordinator: Arsam International
Darren Thompson .... production assistant
Joan Tissink .... caterer: The Food Lab
Arnaud Tourangin .... script consultant: Arsam International
Marieke Tricoire .... title credits: EDITORS, Paris
Karin Trolle .... director: making of
Karin Trolle .... personal assistant: Bille August
Nancy Truter .... administrator
Aaron Tyeko .... general worker
Garin Van Munster .... animal coordinator: dogs
Drikus White .... base camp manager
Shuiab Whittle .... runner
Deirdre Williams .... production coordinator (as Deirdré Williams)
Warren Wisebeach .... location scout
Alex Yali .... general worker
Nicholas Frank .... production assistant (uncredited)
John Kaylin .... dubbing producer (uncredited)
Frankie Malhotra .... production assistant (uncredited)
Aranka Matits .... assistant to producer (uncredited)
Marc Noyons .... financial services (uncredited)
Micah Schifman .... assistant: Diane Kruger (uncredited)
Bertrand Le Delezir .... the producers wish to thank

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Goodbye Bafana" - Germany (original title)
See more »
Rated R for language including some sexual references
118 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Audio/visual unsynchronized: 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 »
Winnie Mandela:When I married you, I knew I was marrying the struggle.See more »
Movie Connections:
Who But a FoolSee more »


What Bafana means?
See more »
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Not without merit, in this fanciful retelling of mutual respect between a prison guard and Mandela, but 'Apartheid for Dummies' is what it annoyingly all too often resembles., 7 June 2010
Author: johnnyboyz from Hampshire, England

Seems quite sad that the true-to-life character of Nelson Mandela would be reduced to a supporting character in a film about him; his stay on the Robben Island prison and his consequent release in the 1990s. Truth is, Bille August's 2007 film has a head and a heart in two different places; his film more closely resembling the sort of thing your bog-standard GCSE teacher might slap on for the students in class, before nipping out for a quick cigarette, during the week that sees the school syllabus demand South African Apartheid era be studied. But despite all this, it didn't bother me as much; the film observing the changing attitudes of a prison guard on the aforementioned island jail and using him as an example of which the greater changing attitudes of a nation at that time are templated. Yes, it resembles a TV movie of the week and yes, at about the half way mark you can envisage the film's final few moments consisting of a little white text caption coming into focus on the black background detailing what the lead character's current state is; but above all this is a film wanting to tackle a white individual's guilt rather than a black individual's plight and with this established pretty early on in the film, I did not have a problem with the direction the film took.

Goodbye Bafana revolves around a pro-white; pro-Apartheid guard with the South African prison service named James Gregory, played by Joseph Fiennes, who moves to Robben island with his family of wife Gloria (Kruger); young son Brent and daughter Natasha in the 1960s. James is a censor officer, cutting out words and sentences from inmates' letters and having the authority to listen in on conversations inmates have with their visitors; cruelly cutting them off if he deems it fit to do so in that they break the house rules. The very first scene is the family shipping themselves off to the island, a sense of life beginning at this point. James is the focus here, his family relegated to mere items of viewership with the children playing roles that see them ask the questions that ill-informed on Apartheid audience members will be asking; Diane Kruger, the relatively talented actress, not given anything to do bar be relegated into playing the role of the token fascist whose racial tidbits sum up an entire mindset of an era. "Why are the blacks prisoners on the island?" asks Brent; "Because they're terrorists who want our land." replies Gloria, in a fabricated and false manner. Then we remember this is playing to GCSE students whom are unfamiliar with the subject and it is they who are asking with the programmed response kicking in.

James is the bridge between a shallow, vacuous existence in his wife's-plus-her friends' empty existence on the island and the gruelling, grotty prison set life of a number of imprisoned blacks whom it is deemed are enemies of the state. One of these is the aforementioned Nelson Mandela, played here by Dennis Haysbert, who does a reasonable job shuffling from scene to scene and keeping a stern and expressionless face in playing the man; although the level of the performance cannot be understated when we recall what it is Haysbert is exactly required to do: essentially playing a dispirited prisoner throughout and given little room to play the equality driven saviour of a nation and its beliefs.

Interestingly, the moment that encapsulates the very sentiment that the film is more interested in Gregory's tale than Mandela and his struggle and the manner in which he went about doing what he did actually occurs very late on, but it's telling all the same; in a sequence that sees Mandela and his assistants sit around a large table about to indulge in the sorts of discussions that saw them do what they did but sees James leave the room with the film following him, just as those at the table appear to get started, so as to cover his moving house and his family problems. Akin to this is James' gradual arc of realisation, something that's satisfying in its very basic observation; the man's past life experience in knowing a young black boy in his youth proof he was once able to connect with blacks in a friendly manner with moments such as the reading of some kind of Mandela written equality charter just foreshadowing the obvious.

As the years roll on and everyone grows older, the Gregory's shift around and Mandela himself is kept on the sidelines as he changes prisons looking at the main strand of the film from a distanced perspective. It's a situation akin to John Boorman's 2005 film Country of My Skull (In My Country, to Americans), when the plight and strife of oppressed South Africans and their justice is given the odd glance in tangent to a Caucasian individual or individuals and their relationships with other Caucasians around them plus whatever hardships they suffer with their employers. It isn't reason enough to hate the film, but it's reason enough to get a little flustered provided you can identify the niggling frustrations and work around them so as to enjoy the film as it stands. The film tries to provide some dramatic tension to proceedings, the arrival of a new and more brutal Robben Island chief of staff later on in life supposed to instill a sense of what might happen if Gregory were to be caught by this new chief as his attitudes begin to change. Goodbye Bafana was made with the best of intentions, achieving what it sets out to do with relative dramatic and respectful aplomb, but one cannot argue that it all too often feels like a low-key retelling of events for those naive to the subject matter.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (22 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Color of Freedom (2007)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Dennis Haysbert accent bookwormgal
Please if you have seen this movie MrsLint
Who played the young Natasha? tatjana_merinda
Military vehicle error? purifier-1
Subtitles? agb7373
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Catch a Fire The Color of Friendship Gandhi Hotel Rwanda Invictus
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Biography section IMDb Germany section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.