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Sarafina! (1992)

PG-13 | | Drama, Musical | 25 September 1992 (USA)
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2:06 | Trailer

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South African teenagers fight against apartheid in the Soweto Uprising.

Director:

Darrell Roodt (as Darrell James Roodt)

Writers:

Mbongeni Ngema (play), Mbongeni Ngema (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leleti Khumalo ... Sarafina
Whoopi Goldberg ... Mary Masembuko
Miriam Makeba ... Angelina
John Kani ... School Principal
Dumisani Dlamini Dumisani Dlamini ... Crocodile
Mbongeni Ngema ... Sabela
Sipho Kunene Sipho Kunene ... Guitar
Tertius Meintjes Tertius Meintjes ... Lieutenant Bloem
Robert Whitehead Robert Whitehead ... Interrogator
Somizi Mhlongo Somizi Mhlongo ... Fire (as Somizi 'Whacko' Mhlongo)
Nhlanhla Ngema Nhlanhla Ngema ... Stimela
Faca Khulu Faca Khulu ... Eddie (as Faca Kulu)
Wendy Mseleku Wendy Mseleku ... China
Mary Twala Mary Twala ... Sarafina's Grandmother
James Mthoba James Mthoba ... Sarafina's Uncle
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Storyline

As tentions of Apatheid spreads accross South Africa, many students revolts to massive stone throw, a demonstration that comes in a wake of the introduction of Afrikanas language as a means of teaching. This sparks riots among school age young people who have resolved to do what it takes for freedom to come tomorrow. In a township of Soweto, a group of students, led by a young beautiful and intelligent girl Sarafina, mastermind a plot to rise against the Apatheid regime by velmently rejecting the proposal to have Africanas as a medium of instruction and this angers the white people and results in a massive unrest of the students and those others supporting them. Mean while, Sarafina's mother accepts a job of a housekeeper in a white woman and somehow it angers Sarafina. Following the unrest of students and therd possible torture and trial, Sarafina is realesed from prison, reunites with some of the coleagues and composes a "Freedom is Coming Tomorrow" song. Written by Isaac Museka Lupupa

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She was their teacher. They were her hope. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for scenes of apartheid-driven violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Africa | UK | France | USA

Language:

English | Zulu

Release Date:

25 September 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sarafina! Il profumo della libertà See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,306,242
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

The original Broadway production of "Sarafina!" opened at the Cort Theater in New York on January 28, 1988, ran for 597 performances and was nominated for the 1988 Tony Awards for the Best Musical and Score. Dumisani Dlamini, Leleti Khumalo, Nhlanhla Ngema and 'Mbongeni Ngema' recreated their roles in the movie version. A nomination for the 1988 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical went to Leleti Khumalo. See more »

Quotes

Sarafina: Come on, Nelson. Why can't I be a star? What does a star do? Nothing. Look at the camera, flash! Smile at the camera, flash! Look at everybody, big eyes! Say nothing. Stars don't do, stars just be.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Exclusive Director's Cut is available on laserdisc and features 15 minutes of additional footage not shown in theaters. See more »

Connections

Version of Voices of Sarafina! (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Vuma Diozi Lami
Written by Mbongeni Ngema
Performed by Leleti Khumalo
See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful South African film
10 August 2011 | by lxndrprkrSee all my reviews

Sarafina! the film is based on Mbongeni Ngema's play of the same name and it draws inspiration from the student riots that took place in Soweto, Johannesburg in 1976. The film/play was never intended to be a historical documentary explaining Apartheid for an international audience but rather a story about young black South Africans living under Apartheid.

The film is an excellent adaptation and the musical numbers are well integrated but also evoke the stage through their inclusion. Some may feel that it is inappropriate in a film about such serious issues, but songs and music formed an important element to anti-apartheid protests and they should be seen within this context. The film 'Mapantsula' made five years earlier, demonstrates this same tendency as prisoners sing as they are led into the cells.

The film is beautifully shot - the red earth features very strongly - subtly reminding us of mother Africa. It's incredibly well written - I don't think there has been such a well-written film to come out of the country since. Ngema captures the struggle for freedom - the big picture - but does not lose sight of the fact that these were also just teenagers filled with the same angst as teenagers everywhere. Ultimately the film portrays a realistic view of oppression and freedom fighting. It was not easy to live under apartheid neither was it easy to fight against it and there are no heroes in the killing of people, no matter how good the cause.

A fantastic film that needs to be better understood.


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