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A Dry White Season (1989)

Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police ... See full summary »

Director:

Euzhan Palcy

Writers:

André P. Brink (novel) (as André Brink), Colin Welland (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Ben
Janet Suzman ... Susan
Zakes Mokae ... Stanley
Jürgen Prochnow ... Captain Stolz (as Jurgen Prochnow)
Susan Sarandon ... Melanie
Marlon Brando ... McKenzie
Winston Ntshona ... Gordon
Thoko Ntshinga Thoko Ntshinga ... Emily
Leonard Maguire Leonard Maguire ... Bruwer
Gerard Thoolen ... Col. Viljoen
Susannah Harker ... Suzette
Andrew Whaley Andrew Whaley ... Chris
Rowen Elmes Rowen Elmes ... Johan
Stella Dickin Stella Dickin ... Susan's Mother
David de Keyser David de Keyser ... Susan's Father (as David De Keyser)
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Storyline

Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police at a demonstration by black school children, he gradually begins to realize his own society is built on a pillar of injustice and exploitation. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Dry White Season See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,766,879
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the Turner Classic Movies Database website, "The film is dedicated to Hannah and Henri Marie-Joseph. While Marlon Brando agreed to work on this film at no cost, he accepted the minimum required Screen Actors Guild rate of $4,000. Donald Sutherland, Michael Gambon, Janet Suzman and Susan Sarandon also worked for reduced salaries. According to a televised interview with Brando on October 7, 1989, the actor received $3,300,000 for his work (an anticipated percentage of the gross), which he planned to donate to the anti-apartheid cause." See more »

Goofs

When Marlon Brando is in court grilling the Doctor. His glasses are on, then they pan away from him for a moment then back to him and his glasses are up on his head. Then they pan away for just a second, and when they go back to him, they are down again. Very subtle but easy to notice. See more »

Quotes

Ian McKenzie: Oh I'm terribly sorry, would you like a cup of tea?
Ben du Toit: No, no thank you. No, I'm here on a matter of justice.
Ian McKenzie: Oh, justice. Well I'm afraid that's a trifle more complex to serve you up than a cup of tea.
See more »


Soundtracks

YINI KODWA YINI
Written by Joseph Shabalala
Performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
Produced by Danny Lawson for Night After Night Ltd.
Additional vocal performances by the cast of Sarafina
See more »

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User Reviews

 
watch it and never forget.
24 April 1999 | by shell-26See all my reviews

One day in South Africa in the 1960's, a young black man was walking along the street with his aged mother. Coming along the road was a young white man. The young black man knew that apartheid law and custom meant that the white would probably barge the two blacks off the pavement and into the gutter. The law would protect him and the young black man might be imprisoned for defending himself. The young black man tensed his muscles and prepared to defend his mother, but was amazed when the Englishman stepped off the pavement and doffed his broad brimmed hat in greeting. Later on the two would become friends and allies. The white man was to become bishop Trevor Huddleston, the black man, bishop Desmond Tutu.

That story is NOT the story of A Dry White season, but it is of a kindred spirit. Like the gesture of Trevor Huddleston, the story of Ben de Tor is a gesture against apartheid. A glimmer of hope, but merely that, a flicker.

It must be five years since I saw a Dry White Season but I still remember how I felt leaving the cinema. It is a film which will stay with you.

The plot follows a white South African on an adventure through bewilderment, revelation, denial, disgust, and a futile attempt to fight a grossly unfair system.

I can't go into detail after this length of time but the cameos in this film would be worth the video rental. Marlon Brando (yes) steals the show as the lawyer who knows exactly how hopeless the fight against apartheid is but agrees to fight anyway.

The political situation today in South Africa is a world away from that of A Dry White Season. Watch it and never forget.


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