- 2h 37m
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The tension and terror that is present-day South Africa is powerfully portrayed in director Richard Attenborough's sweeping story of black activist Stephen Biko (Denzel Washington) and a liberal white newspaper editor who risks his own life to bring Biko's message to the world. After learning of apartheid's true horrors through Biko's eyes, editor Donald Woods (Kevin Kline) discovers that his friend has been silenced by the police. Determined not to let Biko's message go unheard, Woods undertakes a perilous quest to escape South Africa and bring Biko's remarkable tale of courage to the world. The riveting, true story offers a stirring account of man at his most evil and most heroic.
Rotten Tomatoes® Score
One of the best films to come out of the 1980s. Simply amazing.
June 21, 2017
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Common Sense Media
Common Sense Says
'80s drama about apartheid has violence, language.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Cry Freedom depicts the atrocities committed by South African government authorities during its repressive and inhuman apartheid regime, the country's racist policy that lasted from 1948 to 1994. When the film opened in 1987, it would be another six years before the minority white supremacist government would give way to rule by the black majority, led by imprisoned leader Nelson Mandela. Government police and soldiers massacre unarmed men, women, and children in segregated, impoverished townships. Protest leaders are banned or imprisoned. Language includes "s--t," and "caffer," an ethnic slur used to denigrate blacks. Biko is beaten to death. His bloody body is shown. A man is imprisoned and later falsely reported by the police to have hanged himself. The home of an anti-apartheid editor is shot at by police. A family of black sympathizers are sent child-sized, acid-laced T-shirts by the police. A child's burned face is seen. Briefly shown: A raiding police officer tears off the shirt of a woman. A man beaten into a coma is shown lying face down on the ground, naked. Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.
A Lot or A Little?
The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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- Release Date:November 6, 1987
- Audio Format:Stereo
- Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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