Police officer Dirk Hendricks (Bartlett) files an amnesty application for Alex Mpondo (Ejiofor), 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 (Swank), meanwhile, returns to her homeland to represent Mpondo, as well as Steve Sizela, Mpondo's friend who was arrested along with him ...
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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
Not knowing a great deal about the Truth and Reconciliation commission, I can only look at this as a piece of entertainment. I started watching it too late in the evening (recorded from BBC2 earlier this year) but once I'd started I had to watch to the end.
The down-side is that it's effectively a courtroom drama - never my favourite genre - but it's stunningly photographed (largely in super-saturated ochres) and well acted. Like a good novel, I couldn't put it down. All the way through, I wished I was watching it in a cinema to do the music and photography justice. What happened to its release in theatres? I'm an admirer of Chiwetel Ejiofor since I saw him in Dirty Pretty Things, and Hilary Swank looks terrific in this - very female and sexy for a change (possibly out of place, but she adds to the visual attractiveness of the film).
This picture deserves a wider audience than it seems to be getting.
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