A white middle class South African suburbanite with no interest in politics agrees to help his black gardener find his jailed son. His investigation opens his eyes to the horrors committed by the secret police and turns him into a target.
Ben du Toit (Donald Sutherland) is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener, Stanley's (Zakes Mokae's) son, Jonathan (Bekhithemba Mpofu), 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
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 »
Accurate but incomplete portrayal of the old South Africa
If you want to understand what the old South Africa could be like at its worst, this movie accurately portrays it. Well acted and only slightly over-dramatized, it gives you the sense of how the ruling culture was blind to its own injustices. Those who oppose the main character from within his own family make some valid points, and that makes it all the more chilling.
As someone who lived in South Africa until shortly before the year this movie is set in (and was forced to leave because I opposed apartheid), I can't fault the authenticity of this movie but I want to caution viewers not to form all your opinions of white South Africans from this type of film. There is a good side to every culture, but it is harder to portray and doesn't always make great box office.
If this movie leaves you hating anyone, you are taking away the wrong message. If it leaves you realizing this could happen anywhere, and ordinary good people can easily find themselves on the wrong side in situations like this, that is the right message to take away.
51 of 60 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this