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Cry Freedom

Sunday, Aug 31, 2008

Cry Freedom1987, UK, Richard Attenborough

Story of the murder of black activist Steve Biko by South African police, and the uncovering of the story by journalist Donald Woods. Political cinema at its best.

For more details, see tt0092804 on The Internet Movie Database.

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  • avatar Ryszard Cimek says:

    Steve Biko was one of the heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. A proponent of non-violent activism and founding member of the influential Black Consciousness Movement, he died in police custody in 1977, aged 30. In Cry Freedom, that’s half way through the movie. Attenborough’s film, while an ode to the life and martyrdom of the man, is in fact the story of Biko’s friend, Donald Woods.

    Woods (Kline) was a real-life hero himself. Editor of a South African newspaper, he was one of the leading white voices in the anti-apartheid movement, risked life and limb to investigate Biko’s death, and eventually had to escape the country (dressed as a Catholic priest) to publish his findings. Cry Freedom describes the journalist’s extraordinary experiences from his first meeting with Biko in 1975 to his dramatic flight into Losotho less than three years later. In so doing, the film confirms with sympathy and a deal of emotional clout what we all knew — that Biko was a truly great man, that apartheid and the regime enforcing it were inhumane, and that love must overcome hatred.

    Cleverly, it does all that while beating to the pace of a thriller, reaching fever pitch after Biko’s demise when Woods, hounded by a gnashing John Thaw (playing Minister Of Police, James Kruger), attempts to uncover the brutal truth of his friend’s death.

  • avatar Christophe Besuchet says:

    There’s a beautiful song dedicated to Steven Biko. It was written by Peter Gabriel and has very inspiring lyrics:

    Peter Gabriel – Biko

    September ’77
    Port Elizabeth weather fine
    It was business as usual
    In police room 619
    Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
    -The man is dead

    When I try to sleep at night
    I can only dream in red
    The outside world is black and white
    With only one colour dead
    Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
    -The man is dead

    You can blow out a candle
    But you can’t blow out a fire
    Once the flames begin to catch
    The wind will blow it higher
    Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
    -The man is dead

    And the eyes of the world are
    watching now
    watching now

    * * *

    Check the video with footages from Richard Attenborough’s movie.

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