When the Hutu nationalists raised arms against their Tutsi countrymen in Rwanda in April 1994, the violent uprising marked the beginning of one of the darkest times in African history which resulted in the deaths of almost 800,000 people.
A woman's journey. In a Zulu village, Yesterday is a cheerful mother with an inquisitive five-year-old child, Beauty. Yesterday has a persistent cough, and after several attempts to see the doctor at a regional clinic, she gets a diagnosis. She goes immediately to Jo'burg, where her husband is a miner. Then she must deal with consequences. Her singular motivation is to see that Beauty enrolls in school the next fall. The film begins and ends with Yesterday walking on a road.Written by
YESTERDAY is a film that settles into your heart to remind us how treasureable life is. Few films made with such utter simplicity of focus have addressed a world crisis issue in the form of one couple than this and for that reason alone this film should be widely seen. But there are many other reasons to pay attention to this South African movie.
Yesterday (Leleti Khumalo) is an eloquently beautiful Zulu woman who discovers she has been infected with HIV from her coal miner husband (Kenneth Khambula). She confronts him with that fact and his response is embarrassed rage and physical abuse. Yesterday is concerned that her daughter live to attend school and have a chance at a better life. She is befriended by the school teacher (Harriet Lenabe) and by the doctor in whom she confides (Camilla Walker). Growing ill from AIDS, Yesterday's husband returns home and seeks Yesterday's succor and forgiveness on his deathbed. The power of Yesterday's spirit only grows stronger with every sad reality of her life: she is determined to stay alive until her daughter is safely in school and the future that transition promises.
Each of these actors provide astonishing performances, so delicately nuanced that they are able to pry open the heart. The majestically beautiful scenery of South Africa, with its mist-clothed mountains and far reaching stretches of horizons, plays an important role in this story: nature remains the guardian of mortals. Director and writer Darrell Roodt has a little masterpiece of a film here and one that deserves all of our attention. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this