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Wah-Wah (2005)

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Set at the end of the '60s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents' traumatic separation, ... See full summary »


5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Harry Compton
... Ruby Compton
... Gwen Traherne
... Ralph Compton - 14 years
... Lauren Compton
... Ralph Compton - 11 years old
... Lady Riva Hardwick
... Charles Bingham
... June Broughton
... Dr. Zim Mzimba
Sid Mitchell ... Vernon
John Carlisle ... Sir Gifford Hardwick
Mathokoza Sibiya ... Dozen
Sindisiswe Nxumalo ... Regina
Michael Richard ... Tobias


Set at the end of the '60s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents' traumatic separation, till he's 14. It is written and directed by Richard E Grant, and based on true events from Richard E Grant's childhood. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every family has its own language.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

2 June 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Conquista da Liberdade  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£46,159 (United Kingdom), 4 June 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,304, 14 May 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$233,103, 25 June 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Was the first film ever to be shot in Swaziland. See more »


When Ralph comforts Ruby at the hospital, her dress starts slipping from her right shoulder. When the camera takes a close shot, the dress is up to her neck. See more »


Ralph Compton - 11 years old: Why is Daddy's medal stupid?
Lauren Compton: Because all those idiots, dressed up like bloody vanilla ice creams, think that it's a suitable reward for enduring a lifetime of boredom out here in this... middle of bloody nowhere, that's why!
See more »


References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »


Goodnight Sweetheart
Written by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell & Reginald Connelly
Performed by Ray Noble and his Orchestra
Vocalist: Al Bowlly
See more »

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User Reviews

a moving and delightful piece of work
23 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

Forget the sniping review on this site. This is a labour of love and is the true story of a young boy growing up in end-of-the-colonial-era Swaziland. His loving but alcoholic father, his faithless mother and the various other upper crust Brits are bang on the button. The film was made in a very short time, came in under budget and gives us some delightful performances. Both the boys, Zac Fox and Nick Holt, are excellent. Gabriel Byrne, Emily Watson, Celia Imrie and National Treasure Julie Walters are great. The story is told economically in just 90 or so minutes. The scenery is beautiful. What a pleasant change from over praised short-arse Hollywood 'icons' running away from explosions. Forget MI3.Go see this. Then read Richard's book 'The Wah-wah diaries.'

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