Cry Freedom

1455 Words6 Pages
This essay examines the film “Cry Freedom”, set in the late 1970s, which was directed by Sir Richard Attenborough in 1987. The film was based on the true story written by Donald Wood, also one of the main characters in the film. The analysis will focus on the way the movie critically evaluates the political ideology that dominates the apartheid in South Africa. The essay will discuss the character’s and film's attitude towards the white people and black people and how certain characters respond to, and are shaped by, the historic and economic events of that time. It will also analyse the way Attenborough wanted to position his audience and how successful he was in doing so. The film was set in South Africa under the apartheid government, although it was filmed in Zimbabwe due to political turmoil in South Africa at the time. This apartheid echoed the segregation that had occurred up until the late 1960s in the United States of America. In Afrikaans, the word apartheid means “separateness”. The purpose of the film was to show the world how the South African government was provoking the black majority with unjust laws, while the white upper-class ran the country despite being the minority. This had been the situation since the white people first arrived to South Africa. The black people were shown that they were inferior by the ruling white government. The film portrays white people as having more opportunities, freedom and quality of life than black people. At the time the film was set, anyone, white or black, who was suspected of being involved in anti-apartheid activities was destroyed by the South Africa police. After decades of apartheid, the black people were convinced that they were inferior and it was normal to live that ... ... middle of paper ... ...ory and how the characters are influenced and changed through their interactions with one another and apartheid. The film makes the viewer appreciate the hardships that the black people endured under apartheid and makes the viewer feel sympathetic towards their cause, even though the viewer has not experienced this situation in their own life. The film accurately portrays the black people’s belief in their own inferiority through the injustices and corruption of the white government. The film describes the interactions and cooperation between Biko and Woods, and the influence which Biko had on helping Woods change his attitude to become an anti-apartheid activist first in South Africa, then in England. This cooperation and friendship was the reason Woods wrote the novel which the film was based on; to tell Biko’s story and to immortalise him in history.
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