Cry Freedom (1987)


“We are going to change South Africa. What we’ve got to decide is the best way to do that. And as angry as we have the right to be, let us remember that we are in the struggle to kill the idea that one kind of man is superior to another kind of man. And killing that idea is not dependent on the white man. We must stop looking to him to give us something. We have to fill the black community with our own pride. We have to teach our black children black history, tell them about our black heroes, our black culture, so they don’t face the white man believing they are inferior. Then we’ll stand up to him in anyway he chooses. Conflict, if he likes, but with an open hand, too, to say we can all build a South Africa worth living in – a South Africa for equals, black or white, a South Africa as beautiful as this land is, as beautiful as we are.” – Steve Biko

Number of Times Seen – 1 (27 Nov 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A South African journalist tries to uncover corruption in the Apartheid government which leads to him becoming a target of that very system.

My Take on it – This is a film based on true events about how two men worked to expose the Apartheid government of South Africa’s policies to the world.

It’s an extremely powerful film that is accentuated by the amazing performances by both Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington.

Washington was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this role.

They manage to keep the story extremely gripping throughout and that is accentuated by the fact that it’s based on true events.

Richard Attenborough does an amazing job directing this film and is able to get the essence of this conflict while not getting too preachy about it.

The cinematography is exquisite and they help us see the beauty of the lands of Africa when not thinking about the politics of the region.

This film is a bit long but it’s epic nature and scale by far warrant such a long runtime in order to try and give the viewer a better understanding of the whole situation.

I’m quite surprised that this film didn’t do better at the Oscars.

Bottom Line – Powerful film about Apartheid that is accentuated by great performances by both Kline and Washington.  The story is gripping throughout and that is enhanced by the fact that this is based on a true story. Attenborough does a brilliant job capturing the essence of the conflict without being preachy about it.  The film is a bit long, but the epic scale of how the story is told warrants it in order to give the viewer a much better understanding of the whole situation.  Washington was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscar for his performance in this film. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Lew Wasserman, the head of MCA/Universal told Sir Richard Attenborough to ‘clear his shelves of his Oscars for Ghandi , as Cry Freedom was going sweep the board at the Academy awards’ and indeed, early, pre-release test screenings resulted in many positive audience reactions. However, the film proved to be a disaster at the U.S. box-office, and failed to be nominated in any of the major Oscar categories except Best Supporting Actor, for Denzel Washington. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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2 thoughts on “Cry Freedom (1987)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1987 |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1987 |

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