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
As a South African, living in South Africa again after a 32 year stay in the UK, I am sorry to say that this movie is a huge disappointment. The three main problems I had with the movie was a) why Swank and Ejiofor - an American and a Nigerian - to play the leads. This country is bursting with talent and has no need of imports... b) Gillian Slovo has been trading off her Struggle credentials for years now. She's a very mediocre writer and even her novel doesn't stand up the flaccid direction of Mr Hooper... and c) Hilary Swank again, such a great actor, as proved in Million Dollar Baby (but that's Eastwood too), here dressed in the contemporary New York style whilst roaming freely around the poverty of the Karoo. Where was the consideration and sensitivity needed by the costumer and director? Yes, the film is ultimately moving - how could it not be? - but the overall mood at the conclusion is one of tremendous letdown. Heart's in the right place but needs a pace maker.
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