#1453 Cry Freedom (1987)

The story of the life and killing of black rights activist Steve Biko in the hands of the racist South-African apartheid government and the following events that led journalist Donald Woods to flee the country in secrecy are in fact remarkable piece of our recent history, even so that I’ve a gut feeling that Cry Freedom fails to capture the magnitude of these events, despite not really doing much wrong on the surface.

The good aspects of the movie are obvious: Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline in their respective roles as Biko and Woods perform their roles and the movie is shot in Zimbabwe (after being forced to leave South Africa) with a believable setting and cast of the period.

First of the problems is that the movie is written from Woods’ point of view and we only see Biko through him, when obviously he is the more interesting part of the equation. In that same vein the second half of the movie concentrates on Woods’ attempt to leave the country and while adventurous, it seems that the movie misses an opportunity for even a more important storyline; one stemming out of the black population.

80s-o-meter: 74%

Total: 70%