Cry the Beloved Country Movie versus Film

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Cry, the Beloved Country is a moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom. They live in an Africa torn apart by racial tensions and hate. It is based on a work of love and hope, courage, and endurance, and deals with the dignity of man. The author lived and died (1992) in South Africa and was one of the greatest writers of that country. His other works include Too Late the Phalarope, Ah, but Your Land Is Beautiful, and Tales from a Troubled Land. The book was made into a movie starring James Earl Jones and Richard Harris. The book takes you to South Africa, where the land itself is the essence of a man. It as if the mountains, soaring high above the clouds, are the high moments in life, and the valleys are those low and suffering times. Next, you will take a journey to a place called Johannesburg. While reading the pages, the reader begins to envision Johannesburg being a polluted, very unkind, and rushed city. The setting is more of an emotional setting than a physical setting. As I stated, it takes place in South Africa, 1946. This is a time where racial discrimination is at an all time high. The black community of this land is trying to break free from the white people, but having little success. It is this so called racism that is essential to the setting of the story. Without it, the book would not have as much of an impact as it does. This film, the second adaptation of the book, has little room for hatred or anger. Instead, its underlying tone is one of a profound grief that the title hints at. Taken as a whole, Paton's novel promotes healing and understanding, and it speaks as powerfully to audiences today as it did when it was first published, fifty years ago. The book ends with a tone of ... ... middle of paper ... message and provide an emotional punch to equal the book's resonance, which would have probably made a longer film, but added to the continuity if the film. Although the film is slow, it takes on surprising power from the dignity of its performances and the moral strength of its ideas. The book is the same way except you are being fed more of the characters emotion through words than through pictures. Not every moment of the film is as potent as the book (which is noted for passages of passion and impassioned eloquence), but as I said before overcomes its own limitations to become a glorious tribute to the workings of a faith that does not blind but opens up the human spirit (Douglas 25). Alan Paton's novel of apartheid in 1940s South Africa receives a sanitized and overly sentimental treatment in this film, a little trivializing to the book's relentless power.

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