Cry Freedom

1987

Action / Biography / Drama / History

16
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 74%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 13500

biography 1970s racism journalist male friendship

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
February 26, 2019 at 12:03 AM

Top cast

Denzel Washington as Steve Biko
Kevin Kline as Donald Woods
Penelope Wilton as Wendy Woods
Julian Glover as Don Card
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.33 GB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 37 min
P/S 2 / 5
2.54 GB
1920*816
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 37 min
P/S 8 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lee_eisenberg 10 / 10

Possibly the best ever work for all involved

As anyone old enough knows, South Africa long suffered under the vile, racist oppression of apartheid, which completely subjugated the black population. One of the most famous anti-apartheid activists was Steve Biko, who was murdered in jail. Following the murder, reporter Donald Woods sought to get Biko's message out to the world.

In "Cry Freedom", Woods (Kevin Kline) befriends Biko (Denzel Washington) before the latter is arrested on trumped up charges. When Woods attempts to spread Biko's word, he and his family begin living under threat of attack, and they are finally forced to flee the country. The last scene gut-wrenchingly shows police firing on protesters.

As one of two movies (along with "A World Apart") that helped galvanize the anti-apartheid movement, "Cry Freedom" stands out as possibly the best ever work for all involved.

Reviewed by MartinHafer 8 / 10

Very moving....

When this film appeared in 1987, it was considered very liberal and enlightened. However, when seen today, I could easily see someone criticizing the film for being paternalistic--and the same could be said for films like "A Dry White Season" and even the recent "Bang Bang Club" (made in South Africa itself only two years ago). After all, when Hollywood did a film about the apartheid era, it seemed to always feature a white guy in the lead and in the films, whites seemed to need to help rescue the poor, oppressed blacks--and even "Bang Bang Club" to a degree. While the stories ARE true, framing the stories these ways is a bit sad and I would love to see films that were about the black leaders in the fight for freedom. Despite this legitimate complaint, the film should not be written off, as it's an important and true story. And, for that matter, it's quite compelling.

The film begins with Steven Biko (Denzel Washington) approaching the liberal white reporter, Donald Woods (Kevin Klein). While Woods thinks he's enlightened, he is a supporter of the white regime and is blind to some of the evils of apartheid. Over time, Biko is able to win over Woods--and Woods is introduced to black society within the township of Soweto. Later, after incurring the wrath of the white government, Biko is arrested and beaten to death. However, the death was written off as just some accident and Woods is determined to get out of the country and expose the brutality of the South African regime. The problem is, they are not about to just let him leave. So, Woods and his family come up with a very daring plan--a plan that takes half the film. As a sort of epilogue, the film ends with the bloody police attack on student protests in 1977--ending with over 700 children being shot to death. The ending is very fitting and quite moving.

In general, I like the film. I cannot comment, however, on the accents done by Klein and Washington--I am an American who isn't attuned to such things. But, the acting is good, the film VERY compelling and it leaves you feeling raw at the end. My only complaint (other than paternalism) is the odd device of having Biko's character seeming to come to life during the film in flashback scenes or to dialog with Woods--even though he was 100% dead. Odd, that's for sure.

By the way, if you are a geek (and I guess this means I am), look for Nick Tate near the very end playing a pilot. He also played a pilot on "Space: 1999"--and was a regular on the series in case his face is familiar to you.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 10 / 10

An ambitious, but a powerful, moving and compelling film

What a brilliant film. I will admit it is very ambitious, with the subject matter. At a little over two and a half hours, it is a very long film too. But neither of these pointers are flaws in any way. Cry Freedom, despite the minor flaws it may have, is a powerful, moving and compelling film about the story of the black activist Steve Biko in his struggles to awaken South Africa to the horrors of the apartheid. It is true, that the first half is stronger than the second in terms of emotional impact. People have also complained that the film suffers from too much Woods not enough Biko. I may be wrong, but although it is Biko's story, it is told in the perspective of Woods, so Woods is an important character in conveying Biko's story to the world.

Cry Freedom visually looks amazing. With the show-stopping cinematography and the stunning South African scenery it was a visual feast. The opening scenes especially were brilliantly shot. George Fenton's music brought real dramatic weight to most scenes. It was subtle in scenes in the second half, but stirring and dramatic in the crowd scenes. The script was of exceptional quality, the courtroom scenes with Biko were enough to really make you think wow this is real quality stuff. The first half with Biko as the main focus constantly had something to feel emotional about, whether it was the police's attack of the South African citizens or Biko's death. The second half entirely about Donald Woods carries less of an emotional punch, but is compensated by how it is shot, performed and written. And there are parts that are genuinely suspenseful as well.

The performances were exceptional from the entire cast, from the most minor character to the two leads, there wasn't a single bad performance. Regardless of the accents that is, but it is forgiven so easily by how much the performances draw you in. Denzel Washington in one of his more understated performances, gives a truly compelling performance as Biko, and Kevin Kline shows that he can be as good at drama as he is at comedy, for he gave a suitably subtle performance to match that of Washington's. And the two men's chemistry is believable and never strikes a false note. Penelope Wilton is lovely as Donald's wife Wendy, and she is a great actress anyway. Out the supporting performances, and there may be some bias, two stood out for me. One was Timothy West, who relishes his role as Captain DeWet. The other was the ever exceptional John Thaw in a brilliantly chilling cameo-role as Kruger. Lord Richard Attenborough's direction is focused and constantly sensitive as usual.

Overall, a truly wonderful film. Ambitious and long it is, but never ceases to be compelling, powerful and achingly moving. A definite winner from Lord Richard Attenborough, and worthy of a lot more praise. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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