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Red Dust (2004)

2:23 | Trailer
Police officer Dirk Hendricks files an amnesty application for Alex Mpondo, a member of the South African Parliament who can't remember the torture he once endured as a captive political activist. South African-born attorney Sarah Barcant, meanwhile, returns to her homeland to represent Mpondo, as well as Steve Sizela, Mpondo's friend who was arrested along with him and never heard from again.


Tom Hooper


Troy Kennedy-Martin (screenplay), Gillian Slovo (novel)
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie Bartlett ... Dirk Hendricks
Hilary Swank ... Sarah Barcant
Ian Roberts Ian Roberts ... Piet Müller
Chiwetel Ejiofor ... Alex Mpondo
Hlomla Dandala Hlomla Dandala ... Oscar Dumasi
James Ngcobo James Ngcobo ... Ezekiel
Glen Gabela Glen Gabela ... Themba
Connie Mfuku Connie Mfuku ... Alex's Aunt
Sylvaine Strike ... Woman at House
Greg Latter Greg Latter ... Mannie Bester
Zaa Nkweta Zaa Nkweta ... Reporter
Marius Weyers ... Ben Hoffman
Sam Phillips Sam Phillips ... Elder (as Sam Philllips)
Elize Cawood Elize Cawood ... Anna Hoffman
Nomhle Nkonyeni ... Mrs. Sizela (as Nomhle Nkyonyeni)


The South African lawyer Sarah Barcant travels from New York back to her hometown to represent the member of the Parliament Alex Mpondo in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission since torturer police officer Dirk Hendricks has made an application for amnesty. The parents of Steve Sizela request Sarah to represent them also since their son that was arrested with Mpondo but has gone missing. Hendricks uses one break in the trial to threaten Mpondo, promising to destroy his political career telling that he was a traitor. But Mpondo, who is a man traumatized with the torture, anticipates and tells what has happened to Steve Sizela and him in the hands of Hendricks and his superior Piet Müller. Will the remains of Steve be found and the truth disclosed? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images and language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film and Cats (2019) are, as of now, the only two films Tom Hooper has shot in the 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio. See more »


[last lines]
Alex Mpondo: We have the right to say that it hurt.
See more »


References The Graduate (1967) See more »

User Reviews

Red Dust
5 June 2005 | by fastisfunSee all my reviews

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is seldom a favorite of mine, said that everyone should see this film as it is something that can help heal the world....

It is one of the most poignant movies I have seen and delivers on Tutu's comments.... I have read many comments and while they range from good to average to comments on the choice of actors... The fact is that it deals with one of the most extra-ordinary events in our world. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission.... for the first time a country has opted to air it's horrific history, to find a way forward and to create a way for people to heal...

WHile the movie starts out with the White Policeman being offered a chance to absolve himself for brutal crimes and the Black guy is trying to ensure that he does not get away with it, it delves into the humanity of the people and the enormous need for healing that we all need....

Definitely a thumbs up..... To everyone involved.... Once again, I am proud to be a South African.....

An interesting comment can be found here: http://www.biz-community.com/Article/196/97/5223.html

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UK | South Africa


English | Xhosa | Afrikaans

Release Date:

6 May 2005 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Dust See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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