Uploaded by Abdikani mohamed hanad

Movie Review

Cry freedom and anti-apartheid epic drama: “Schadenfreude…”
By: Abdikani Ahmed
October 18, 2019
Some take pleasure in others' pain, and by definition, they are still human. “Cry Freedom” is a
must-see that has its roots in the history of the South African Liberation movements that fought against
the unjust rules and regulations of the white supremacist political parties of this country. Due to its
artistic performance, the movie got 16 nominations, of which they won five of it. The story is written by
John Briley, is directed by Richard Attenborough and is cast by Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington. The
movie aims to bring the inhumane acts of the white South African government to light. It depicts the real
picture of the struggles against apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s and the brutal responses from the
The story begins with two friends—white and black by racial classification—who are unified by
their revolutionary ideology against the selfish, white-dominated, and prejudice-motivated government of
South Africa. Through their struggle for justice, Steve Biko, who is the young black freedom of rights
activist leader, dies at the hands of the white South African police. Donald James Woods, who is also a
liberal, anti-apartheid activist and white South African journalist, flees from the country after his friend’s
death in an attempt to publish a book about the story of this country.
Due to security reasons, they could not make the movie in South Africa, and, thus, they shot parts
of the film in Kenya and others in Zimbabwe. Although the setting is not the place where the actual story
happens, yet the movie can successfully send a political message about the situation in South Africa. It
tends to get closer to reality and seems more realistic than any other film one could watch today. The
authors of the story get as concise as possible by picking the most important of all events since they could
not show all the activities in one movie.
Although the movie promises to be an accountable source for South Africa’s situation, yet it tends
to fall into a pit-hole. The film itself focuses on white supremacist groups and says less about the black
strength in their resistance. The majority of the native citizens of the country are black, yet they remain to
be the background of the story. Besides, it seems to contradict its premise at some point. Such an issue
arises when the black character in the movie whose role takes the lion's share in the developmental stages
of the story is billed less than the actress who plays the editor’s wife.
Like any other piece of work, this movie may contain some biases, but still, it is a must-see epic
story. It both entertains the viewer with Biko’s legendary sense of humor and also educates about the
situation and the history of South Africa. The story has a happy ending. Woods fools the South African
border control and officials on his way to escape from the country. The mission is successful, and he
finally releases a piece of a unique story that will remain a useful reference forever.