Wednesday, November 8, 2006


True story
In Afrikaans and Zulu with English subtitles

The first person to refer to himself as an afrikaner (meaning someone who lives in Africa) was Hendrik Biebouw in 1707. Afrikaners are descended from northwestern European settlers, mainly coming from the Netherlands. Some 12,000 of Biebouw’s descendants moved into the area of South Africa now known as the Orange Free State to escape British rule. They became known as Boers (a Dutch word meaning farmer).

The African National Congress (ANC) was created in 1912 to bring all Africans together as one people to defend their rights and freedoms. In 1944 Nelson Mandela was instrumental in getting a new generation committed to non-violent mass action against the white minority's supremacy.

In 1948 an Afrikaner-led National Party government introduced the policy of apartheid (an Afrikaans word meaning apartness) designed to form a legal framework for continued economic and political dominance of the other races by people of European descent. Under apartheid, people were legally classified into a racial group and were geographically and forcibly separated from each other on the basis of their classification. During the 1950s, non-whites were removed from electoral rolls, residence and mobility laws were tightened and political activities restricted.

After years of official government oppression, the ANC leadership concluded that the methods of non-violence were not suitable against the apartheid system. It was decided that other tactics had to be used, which primarily involved targeting and sabotaging the government's resources. A military wing was formed in 1961, called Umkhonto we Sizwe, meaning "Spear of the Nation". Mandela, as its first leader, was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964.

Derek Luke: Patrick Chamusso, foreman at the oil refinery in Secunda, just east of Johannesburg
Bonnie Henna: his wife Precious
Tim Robbins: Nic Vos, the government’s anti-terrorism chief

The struggle against a repressive ruling force is always of some interest. Even though we have seen or heard about the problems of apartheid before, it becomes more poignant when seen from one man’s perspective.

The movie has some really good up-beat music, excellent acting and is fast-paced.

for thematic material involving torture and abuse, violence and brief language.

In a tripartite alliance with the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the ANC won a landslide victory in the 1994 general election and Nelson Mandela became the first President of South Africa.

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