Langston Whitfield is a Washington Post journalist. His editor provocatively sends him to South Africa to cover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, in which the perpetrators of murder and torture on both sides during Apartheid are invited to come forward and confront their victims. By telling the unvarnished truth and expressing contrition, they may be granted amnesty. Can the deep wounds of Apartheid be healed through reconciliation? Langston is deeply skeptical. He tracks down Colonel De Jager, the most notorious torturer in the South African Police and tries to penetrate the mind of a monster, an experience that obliges him to confront his own demons. Anna Malan is an Afrikaans poet who is covering the hearings for radio. As a white South African, she is shattered by the accounts of the cruelty and depravity committed by her fellow countrymen. Anna and Langston must question their sense of identity. Where do they each belong? How responsible are they for what is done ...Written by
The exterior scenes and shots of the TRC hearings (for instance where Anna and Dumi first meet) were shot on the forecourt of the South African Museum in the Company Gardens in Cape Town's city center. At least some of the internal scenes were shot in the Centre for the Book, which is down the road from the Museum and has curving corridors. The exterior of the court scene was shot outside the Centre for the Book. See more »
All number plates on vehicles throughout the film (apart from archival footage) are fake and do not follow the format of older South African number plates. See more »
Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.
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Composed by Murray Anderson & Warrick Swinney
Arranged as Anna's Theme by Murray Anderson, Warrick Swinney & Philip King
Performed by Murray Anderson
Published by Hi-Z Sound See more »
compelling viewing, reminds that men's cruelty has no limits...
I strongly recommend this movie for many reasons: great cast, wonderful landscapes but above all such a committed movie that makes think a lot... Everything is based upon a true story, so it's all unbelievably real. Obviously something may have been adapted for the screen but what told in this picture makes one's blood run cold; tortures, any sort of physical and psychological abuses took place in South Africa for many years. What is impressive is the composure the blacks took part in the committee hearings with, after enduring all that. Basically they all accepted a general amnesty in return for nothing, 'cause they will never be refunded of lost and destroyed lives, besides power and the whole wealthiness still belong to whites who never really repented of the horrible crimes committed. So, huge dignity and courage for the victims and insincere regrets for the executioners. Another theme treated in the film is the responsibility of whites not directly involved in apartheid-era repressions but who did know everything. Are they guilty? The director seems to be in favor of the positive answer since every white was brought up in families where they FELT racism everywhere and all the time, so how could this all be unknown to them? I agree, also in my opinion those who didn't see wanted to ignore all that stuff.
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