Sunday, 12 June 2011

Cry Freedom - a student's film review

Another film review (sorry- I watched these films a while ago and due to revision never got around to writing about them) of a film, that again, could be linked to development. This time though, it is not set in India but in South Africa.

Cry Freedom is a film about the friendship that develops between a black activist, Stephen Biko, and a liberal white newspaper editor  when, after the forceful and violent demolition of a slum in southeast South Africa, Donald Woods (the newspaper editior) goes in search of Biko who was banned, by the South African Government, from talking publicly and leave a stated area. When Woods meets with Biko, he is invited to visit a township where he can witness himself the impoverished conditions people were forced to live in and the impact on the people of the restrictions imposed by the South African Government's apartheid system. Biko later dies, under suspicious circumstances, whilst in police custody. In response, Woods tries to expose the police involvment in Biko's death, and in the process gets himself banned like Biko was, and then goes on, risking his life and that of his family, to bring Biko's message to the world.

I think that this a a really good film and it covers many topics such as discrimination, political corruption and repercussions of violence. The images at the beginning in the slum are horrific and the endless list of names of fellow activists who had died, accompanied by the 'offical' explanations for their deaths, really enforce the scale of this. In conclusion, the film provides a good, accurate historical account of the suffering caused by apartheid and makes it easier to understand why, despite the existance of equal human rights, that seperation in various guises still exists today. I would strongly suggest watching this film as it is a very moving and riveting and, like mentioned previosuly, could easily be linked to develpment.

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