Cry Freedom. Lethal Weapon 2. A Dry White Season
Hollywood's apartheid

by Nicholas Wellington

from Jump Cut, no. 36, May 1991, pp. 66-72
copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1991, 2006

After decades of largely ignoring the topic of apartheid, in 1987-1989 Hollywood produced three major features with stories and strong opinions about the South African racist policies: CRY FREEDOM, LETHAL WEAPON 2, and A DRY WHITE SEASON.[1] [open notes in new window] But South Africa and apartheid present Hollywood with a problem. The nexus of race and class, prosperity and poverty (and gender for that matter) in South Africa is disquietingly similar to that in the United States and many other countries. Thus, a Hollywood representation of apartheid is in a certain way, a representation of Hollywood, of itself, of "the self." A probing investigation of apartheid could turn upon itself — upon its creators and audiences,

Conversely, South Africa and apartheid can no longer be represented only within the conventions of "first world film about third world subject." Political consciousness and critical opinion will not allow a film to depict South Africa only a remote land in a savage continent populated by primitive blacks, big game in the brown veld, devilish Afrikaaners speaking a Teutonic tongue, or a bulwark against communism, South Africa cannot simply be represented as "the other.

Of course this paradox is not unique to Hollywood. For decades South Africa provided the world with its best opportunity for unambiguous denunciation (or defense) of a social system. Good versus evil became rendered, literally, as a black and white contest. This stark clarity coincided wondrously with the dualism that dominates western thought. It was also the strength of both the pro- and anti-apartheid forces. But it now proves to be their weakness.

South African politics have never been purely black and white, and they certainly are not now. There have always been multiplicities, contradictions and a spectrum of colors rather than black and white.[2] Or, to use a phrase from Steve Biko's testimony in court and used in CRY FREEDOM, whites have always been pink rather than white, and blacks, brown.

The South African democratic movement has neglected and even discouraged exploring and confronting this spectrum lest it rupture the struggles unity. If someone referred publicly to the "complexity of the situation" in South Africa, it used to be a virtual guarantee that a relatively sophisticated racist was about to deliver a set piece. At the heart of apartheid is the classification (and oppression of/preference for) of people on the basis of their color, race, ethnicity, gender, class, language, history, sexual preference, age, job skills, education, or political opinion. A strategy of cohesion has been essential to the anti-apartheid movement.

But this unity in opposition has had its price. Because the opposition movement so long avoided acknowledging its spectrum of multiplicity, those contradictions now play themselves out in the political feuding besetting the pro-negotiations coalition of the African National Congress, Cosatu, United Democratic Front, church groups, youth organizations and other groups. It makes them vulnerable to destablization by the right wing. It has made even more difficult the shift from a movement that has been skillful in formulating strategies of opposition to a nascent government that must generate effective and imaginative alternatives for the New South Africa.

More pertinent to observers in the United States is the media representation of this struggle. Most television, radio and newspaper coverage uses a format that fosters exactly this dualism and simplistic thinking. Thirty-second sound and visual bites do not make for masthead analysis. Easy but heavily burdened categories like race and tribe are inevitably summoned into service. Personalities replace people: De Klerk = all whites; Tutu and Mandela = all blacks. All is explained within a dualism of tyrants and victims/ heroes. The black and white of apartheid scorns an inadvertent victory.

One consequence is that South Africans' struggle becomes divorced from the struggles that surround the audience. The media depict the struggle in South Africa in such brutally simple terms that it makes it seem fundamentally different. We know from experience the doubts and difficulties of other struggles where such a spectrum is undeniable. In these circumstances, the comparison to U.S. problems with South Africa becomes hollow rhetoric. While Nelson Mandela was cheered by the U.S. Congress and by black school kids in Oakland, their cause has little in common beyond opposition to apartheid.

Media's transparent inadequacy to explain South Africa's contradictions and spectrum makes for confusion and disillusion — it seems that what happens in South Africa is so impossibly irrational and willful that it is best left alone. Those who were demons now seem reasonable while the heroes turn out to have feet of clay. It would be better to pause to consider why they were made into heroes or demons in the first place. However, there is no social space to reflect upon why South Africa's spectrum was always represented in black and white. The nature and purpose of such representation is seldom questioned.

Within this framework, I wish to explore the representation of South Africa and apartheid in three recent Hollywood productions. As I argue, apartheid presents Hollywood with a problem. The more that films show apartheid in terms of a dualism of good versus evil, hero versus devil, self versus other, the more obvious it will become that this dualism derives from a construction of Hollywood and its social-intellectual rubric. Conversely, the more that the representation explores nuance and contradiction — the spectrum — the further it diverges from Hollywood cinematic convention.

This point can be illustrated by a difference between, on the one hand, LETHAL WEAPON 2, and on the other, A DRY WHITE SEASON and CRY FREEDOM. LETHAL WEAPON 2 takes an element of apartheid and integrates it into Hollywood cinematic practice. FREEDOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON take this cinematic practice and attempt to use it to tell "politically correct" stories about apartheid. Because of this fundamental difference, I will consider LETHAL WEAPON 2 separately from the other two films.


LETHAL WEAPON 2 was one of 1989's summer blockbusters. It is about a world that contains only decent people and evil people. The baddies are South African diplomatic officials who smuggle drugs and Krugerands in exchange for dollars. They replace communists (out of vogue anyway). Nazis (yawn), corrupt CIA officials (dated post-Watergate stuff) — whomever. With their crude racism, Aryan looks, ruthless blue eyes and foreign accents, the Afrikaners fit the part of "the other." However, their visible similarities to movie gangsters and rednecks makes this "otherness" fit less than comfortably. Against them are Riggs (Met Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Clover), a temperamentally and racially diverse pair of cops in a very happily integrated LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) that shows no evidence of the tenure of police chief Gates. These buddies are joined by Leo (Joe Pesci) who is in a federal witness protection program.

The film combines different genres. Its eclecticism is smooth because we know the genres so well: the anti-communist movie (except the baddies are not communists); the espionage-crime thriller; Dirty Harry; and an odd-couple-cum-buddy movie that turns into a male-bonding, Three Stooges comedy. Within these generic formulae occur some unexpected touches — a didactic reference to the tuna boycott, a debate about condom commercials and TV's use of female sexuality, and depiction of a stable "normal" African American family. The film's major departure, however, is its use of racist South Africans as the bad guys. As such, they are utterly brutal — one of them tells Riggs soon after killing Riggs' new girlfriend that he also killed Riggs' wife four years before and that she died slowly and painfully. As it fights the racist devils, the LAPD acts as a racially integrated force and is presented as such without comment.[3]

This strategy is troublesome because race and racism are, in fact, the film's major themes. The South Africans concentrate their murderous attentions upon Murtaugh simply because he is black, and they constantly make racist remarks, They explain their smuggling by referring to South Africa's international isolation as a consequence of apartheid. Racism is therefore identified as a South African issue and not a U.S. one — which is especially untrue for the LAPD. The only (white) South African who betrays the cause does so because her loins lead her to Mel Gibson rather than because of any political or moral principle. She explains that the only thing she likes about her job (a secretary, of course) is that it enables her to live in L.A., i.e. to realize the American dream.

Using time-honored conventions (foreign accents, low angle shots, ugly faces shot close-up and surrounded by darkness, and a series of brutal deeds) in combination with a renewed U.S. public awareness about apartheid, LETHAL WEAPON 2 successfully creates a new villainy.

Certainly these villains are racists; few spectators could fail to be impressed by their iniquity. More troubling, only U.S. characters pursue an anti-apartheid fight. Once again, U.S. heroes are saving the world; goodness and decency are defended by the U.S. male. For the most part this defense proceeds within the institutional framework of the LAPD, even when the racists attempt to kill Murtaugh and his family (African Americans). But when Riggs discovers that they killed his wife and his new lover, he rips off his police badge and pursues a personal revenge. The messages are clear:

  • Fight within the rules and fail, or become a vigilante and succeed.
  • Mess with the black man and his family and not much will happen, but mess with Mel's girl, mess with the white man — and you're a goner.

CRY FREEDOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON are not as violence-, stunt- and action-oriented as LETHAL WEAPON 2. Also, the former two films differ because they use Hollywood cinematic practices and resources to examine apartheid rather than just shamelessly take one element of apartheid repression and use it within well-established Hollywood formulae. What I wish to examine is whether or not they end up at the same place as LETHAL WEAPON 2.


CRY FREEOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON attempt to tell anti-apartheid stories within the confines of Hollywood convention. Both the directors, Richard Attenborough and Euzhen Palcy, wanted to reach a mass audience of the "unconverted," and they struggled for years to obtain Hollywood backing.[4] They knew that the audience was unattainable without the finance. They also knew that the studios demand adherence to certain conventions of narrative technique, high production values, big budgets, stars, impressive crowd scenes, exotic locations, and so on. The very structures that made these films possible also determined the films' form and content.

One of the Hollywood conventions most obviously adopted in these two films, is the need for action and lots of it. Both begin with dramatic action scenes. The story of A DRY WHITE SEASON unfolds at a particularly rapid clip, very unlike Palcy's first film, SUGAR CANE ALLEY. This reliance on rapid action sequences works against audience participation and any reading of nuance. (Contrast A DRY WHITE SEASON with other recent features by non-North Americans about equally weighty topics, such as Shohei Imamura's BLACK RAIN and Gaston Kabore's ZAN BOKO.)


CRY FREEOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON are part of a sub-genre of films with a white, liberal man (usually a journalist) who functions in the plot as a "transgressor' in a dangerous third world situation. Other films of this type are THE KILLING FIELDS, THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY and SALVADOR. Presumably a film intended to appeal to audiences in developed nations must have as a main character a representative from one of these nations. That is the lowest common denominator the audience can identify with; someone to mediate between the audience ("self') and the exotica ("other").

In CRY FREEOM white English-speaking newspaper editor Donald Woods (Kevin Kline) functions as such a mediator-transgressor. Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) leader Steven Biko (Denzel Washington) educates Woods (and the audience) about his own country. As Woods explained about CRY FREEOM:

"…the Woods story was the necessary balance to the Biko story if mass audiences were to be reached in Europe and the United States."[5]

In A DRY WHITE SEASON, schoolteacher Ben du Toit (Donald Sutherland) takes this role. Although he is an Afrikaner, he and his family speak English. No distracting subtitles, please. In André Brink's novel upon which the script is based, du Toit is a college professor, but Palcy removed the main character's intellectual associations.[6] For all practical purposes du Toit is an investigator — a transgressor in a very literal sense. He is assisted by a black man, Stanley (Zakes Mokae), who doubles as a chauffeur. As an educated man who drives his taxi between black township and white city, Stanley could have been utilized as a mediating, transgressive character, but relative to Ben his character remains undeveloped. He is "more an icon than a character when compared with Ben."[7]

Both Woods and du Toit are liberals and decent men even before their radical catechisms. Having liberal protagonists enables the filmmakers to sidestep neatly the much more pressing, intransigent issue that actually confronts the South African democratic movement: How and why will conservative whites change? Woods and du Toit are sympathetic figures, reinforced by the favorable connotations that the star personae of Kline and Sutherland bring to their roles. These characters play safely in Peoria, if not in Pretoria.[8]

This typage applies even more to liberal lawyer McKenzie (Marlon Brando) in A DRY WHITE SEASON. Brando's character is a stock figure of film and television, taking up a futile court case and playing it quite delightfully — for the camera rather than the judge.

"The role is one of these humane, avuncular, Clarence Darrow knockoffs — the kind that Spencer Tracy and Orson Welles got to play..."[9]

The device of the white transgressor leads to trouble. In CRY FREEOM there is a double irony in that a white protagonist is used in a film about Steve Biko, a Black Consciousness leader. Even in death Biko is shown through white eyes. Not surprisingly this has lead to a running dispute with the successors of the Black Consciousness Movement mantle about how to interpret the film.[10]

Black Consciousness aside, the persistence of the device raises the question as to why Hollywood is so reluctant to place a black person in the center of a film. By a strange perversity, Jamie Uys' THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY is an example of the fact that a film can focus on a non-white character and be a box office hit. Very differently, Richard Attenborough's GANDHI succeeded at the box office without a white transgressor — it seems that only a non-white person of the stature of Gandhi (also dead and a pacifist) allows the industry to dispense with the white hero. One final irony, while both Palcy and Attenborough position white men at the center of their narratives for box office reasons (Palcy denies this, but the script itself refutes her), in neither case did the strategy pay off. Both films have had lackluster box office returns and only a tepid critical reception.[11]


Both CRY FREEOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON are white family melodramas. The du Toits disintegrate because of Ben's politicization, and his daughter betrays him to the security police. Matching the du Toits in that film are the black Ngobene family; they are torn asunder by apartheid in a far more horrifying way — the police kill the eldest son, father and mother. Yet, despite Palcy's claims to the contrary, the script clearly develops the flu Toils as individuals and as a family more than it does the Ngobenes.[12] The du Toits barbecue, have a party, celebrate Christmas, work in the shed, argue, fight, weep, etc.. The only scene of all the Ngobenes together consists of a brief altercation between father and son that sketches a dichotomy between conservative older generation and radical youth. This imbalance gives the melodrama of A DRY WHITE SEASON an emphasis on whites that is compounded by the use of well-known stars for the white roles: Brando, Sutherland, Sarandon. The black actors, however, are little known, although the causes of this have nothing to do with Palcy.

The family melodrama in CRY FREEOM is even more troubling than in A DRY WHITE SEASON. Biko gets killed half way through. After that point the story revolves around the white family and their escape from South Africa. This has, in the words of a Variety critic, "the unmistakable feel of commercial calculation."[13] The film's story has little relation to Biko or what he stood for. Placing such emphasis upon the great escape is tedious and trivial in relation to Biko's fate. The film ends triumphantly with the Woods family flying over the South African veld, thus taking them to their true filmic position — in the developed world. The concluding scenes of the Soweto uprising, the scrolling of names of victims of police murder, and the stirring rendition of Nkosi Sikelei' i Afrika, cannot salvage the film.


Family melodrama conventionally gives prominence to individual characters, their development and their actions. That these conventions dominate CRY FREEOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON is hardly surprising considering that they are stories about the individual political conversions of white men. The use of stars reinforces this tendency. There is little attempt to work against it or to integrate these stories into a larger, social context. A DRY WHITE SEASON, for example, ends with Stanley's shooting security policeman Stoltz (Jurgen Prochnow). It is an act that is laden with personal vindication and heroism, and provides a moment for easy applause, but it contradicts the praxis of the (anti-apartheid) armed resistance in South Africa. On a more general level, there is little connection between A DRY WHITE SEASON's story and the larger society, whether pro- or anti-apartheid. The audience might wonder at the end what reason there was to publish the exposé of the security police, and who would read it.

Similarly, CRY FREEOM struggles to express the complexity of apartheid and resistance to apartheid within the confines of a film about the somewhat atypical Biko-Woods friendship. Although the impact of Biko's life and death on the Woods family is explored, there is little exploration of BC as an ideology or movement. The structure of the film implies that the Soweto uprising followed Biko's death, but a closer reading reveals the historical discontinuity — the uprising began in June 1976 and Biko was killed in September 1977. There is no indication that BC was and is only one strand of the democractic movement, but two portraits of Nelson Mandela imply a unity between BC and ANC. Political events since 1977 have made this hiatus more problematic. Even on the level of individual characters it is not clear why Biko was friendly with Woods. Why did Biko need Woods? While these questions are ignored, the film lingers on the Woods family and their escape, depicted (without exaggeration) in a heroic and dramatic style.

More than this emphasis upon individual action, A DRY WHITE SEASON and CRY FREEOM are as heavily male-dominated as is LETHAL WEAPON 2. The female characters have what are essentially bit parts. The men/boys are leaders and active; women/girls are either supportive or treacherous to their men. Impurities in the male heroes are eliminated. In CRY FREEOM Attenborough hides Biko's relationship with with Mamphela Ramphele rather than his wife. In A DRY WHITE SEASON Palcy omits the affair in the novel between Ben and Melanie (Susan Sarandon). HBO's MANDELA omits any reference to Nelson Mandela's first wife of many years and mother to four of his children, and makes much of the romance with young and photogenic Winnie (Alfre Woodard). Only in Chris Menges' A WORLD APART are some of these elements of patriarchy challenged — and this is not a Hollywood production.


Yet another area in which CRY FREEOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON fall prey to Hollywood convention, is in their structure of bipolar conflict. As argued above, South Africa does not fit this simple but alluring model; in Clifford Geertz's terms, South Africa requires "thick description," but what it invariably gets is "thin description."[14] In CRY FREEOM, for example, the fact of black collaboration is omitted. When Attenborough was asked why there were no black policemen in his re-creation of the June 16, 1976 attack, he explained:

"To have had blacks firing at blacks, he [Attenborough] said, would have been 'too confusing', unless the film had taken time to explain how blacks, as well as whites, have been caught up in defending the apartheid system."[15]

The conflict is depicted in purely racial terms between two sides, one good and one bad; the attractive Woods-Biko combo and the ugly, brutal, Nazi-like security police; "the self" and "the other" — shades of LETHAL WEAPON 2. This type of representation encourages disinformation at a time when Attenborough's "unconverted" audience most needs to grasp the sophisticated and insidious nature of apartheid, and the grave problems facing South Africa at the very moment that what was always portrayed as "the problem" appears to he disappearing.

In contrast, A DRY WHITE SEASON represents black collaboration with more fluency, e.g. there are several black policemen. There are suggestions in the beer hall scene, and in the exchange between Stanley and his son Jonathan about the value of education, that a range of opinion is expressed among black South Africans. Further nuance comes from the existence of sympathetic white characters who are not activists, such as McKenzie (Brando) and Melanie's piano-playing old father. Arguably, even some of the security police are portrayed as vaguely human. In these ways. A DRY WHITE SEASON at least attempts to represent the struggle as something more fluid than a dualism between good and evil. As Palcy stated:

"The world is not composed of good people and bad people. To explain the conflict, it is important to show the different faces of apartheid."[16]

Formally, however, A DRY WRITE SEASON remorselessly cuts between black and white life: police brutality at the beer hail juxtaposed against the sporting atmosphere of a rugby game; a family barbecue in the leafy suburbs versus a small dark house in the township; the fuss being made over something from the barbecue that got into a white man's eye followed by a close-up of the painful lash marks on a young black boy's backside, and so on. These juxtapositions run the risk of numbing the audience, depicting an always obvious dichotomy between good and bad, and squashing all subtlety. This type of montage works against Palcy's aim of representing multiplicity and "different faces." Her style here is markedly different from that in her earlier SUGAR CANE ALLEY, which even occasionally crosses the line between subtlety and whimsy.

Other, more specific criticisms can be leveled against both films. Although both are self-proclaimed political films, they leave conspicuous gaps between the time during which their stories occurred (1975-1977) and the time that the films were made (1987, 1989). A DRY WHITE SEASON reduces all democratic political action to the level of the individual or the crowd; it gives no indication that strategies and organizations lead to change. CRY FREEOM misleads by concluding with the Soweto uprising and compressing the events of a year into one day. The Biko death scenes and inquest give no sense of the medical profession's complicity. CRY FREEOM obscures Biko's attitude towards violence, which has the effect of distancing the saintly Biko from the apparent radicalism of other resistance. (This might have been done so as to make Biko more sympathetic to white middle class audiences or because of the influence of Jack Briley, screenwriter on GANDHI.[17])


Having written all this, I want to reassert that CRY FREEOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON should not be discarded as utterly flawed and politically incorrect. Neither should it be thought that Attenborough and Palcy had anything but the best intentions: fighting to get their films made, visiting South Africa, meeting with people whose experiences bore on the stories, encouraging the use of their films as political vehicles, etc.. The two films contain many fine, moving moments, such as Biko's ripostes in the courtroom in CRY FREEOM, Brando's performance in A DRY WHITE SEASON, and the scene in A DRY WHITE SEASON when a group of whites express the opinion that blacks have double lives while a black woman is serving them drinks at the barbecue.

Both filmmakers made determined efforts to re-create the environment in which the narratives are located. Both films were made in Zimbabwe, a neighboring state. Those portions of CRY FREEOM that concern Biko remain faithful to Woods' account in his biography, Biko; the courtroom scenes are particularly vivid examples of fidelity to the record.[18] The opening raid on Crossroads settlement and Biko's funeral bear close similarity to photographs and documentary footage of these events. The same can be said for the Soweto massacre in A DRY WHITE SEASON. Keith Tribe argues that in historical film (both A DRY WHITE SEASON and CRY FREEOM are set in 1976-1977) "the veracity of the image" is an extremely important means of achieving historical veracity, of persuading the viewer that s/he is witnessing historical "Truth." As Tribe puts it, "history is...recognized as Truth by the viewer not by virtue of the facts being correct, but because the image looks right."[19] In film, Cohn McCabe notes that there is "a classic relation between narrative and vision in which what we see is true and this truth confirms what we see."[20]

Interestingly, for both CRY FREEDOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON the audiences understanding of "what looks right" is based upon a further representation — news images from South Africa, especially of moments like June 16, rallies, funerals, and forced removals. It is no coincidence that such scenes are prominent in CRY FREEDOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON. Palcy's and Attenborough's attention to period visual realism is part of this verifying process, an "authenticity" reinforced by other stylistic choices: music, attempts (with varying degrees of success) to achieve South African accents, use of many South African actors and extras, news reporting devices (e.g. the teletype subtitles giving date and time during CRY FREEDOM 's opening sequence of the Crossroads raid), attention to detail (e.g. the Springbok jacket that du Toit wears when he visits the police station, in A DRY WHITE SEASON), and so on.

In connection with this historical authenticity, Woods describes why Attenborough decided to shoot the (fictitious) scene of Biko addressing a crowd at a soccer game while under a banning order:

"There was no cinematic way of showing satisfactorily how Steve Biko had circumvented his banning restrictions to communicate with many thousands of blacks through a column in my newspaper under another name, so Attenborough had hit upon the idea of a scene showing Biko, while hidden in the crowd, addressing spectators at a soccer game."[21]

Two points are relevant here. First, Woods errs in asserting, "no cinematic way." Certainly there are mildly unconventional ways of showing this, such as the newspapers and pseudo-documentaries in CITIZEN KANE. Second. Attenborough understood only part of the significance of Biko's "Frank Talk" column in Woods' newspaper. While it was a means of communication, it was also a tangible example of how black and white democrats could and have to cooperate. It was thus an answer to my earlier question: Why did Biko need Woods? The substitution of the soccer match fails utterly to express this dynamic.

Despite the best efforts of their makers, the conventional requirements of Hollywood cinema predetermined and overdetermined A DRY WHITE SEASON and CRY FREEDOM's representations of apartheid and resistance to apartheid. A cinema of homogeneity cannot represent heterogeneity. South Africa is often represented without ambiguity in cinema. But this representation has more to do with its representers than with the represented. The fact that these films were Hollywood productions made them possible and made them what they are. Unfortunately, the strategy did not work well — filmically or at the box office.

For instance, the cover of the video of A DRY WHITE SEASON illustrates the central features of the film: on the front a half-merged silhouette of a black man and a white man. On the back, three small insert photographs: Sutherland, with Zakes Mokae half visible; Brando's face; and a seductive Sarandon. Behind the inserts is an image of students marching in Soweto — the exotic backdrop for the famous. As a South African critic wrote, "South Africa reworked as international cliché."[22]

Similarly in CRY FREEDOM convention compromised good intentions and progressive content. Attenborough needed Biko's courage: not only to break convention by tackling a difficult topic but also to move beyond convention in his treatment of it.


1. CRY FREEDOM, directed by Richard Attenborough. Universal, 1987; LETHAL WEAPON 2, directed by Richard Donner. Warner Brothers, 1989; A DRY WHITE SEASON, directed by Euzhan Palcy. MGM, 1989.

2. I use the words "colors" and "spectrum" to refer to multiple social identities of many kinds, neither purely or primarily race/skin color.

3. This is similar to the way that gayness in Fassbinder's FOX AND HIS FRIENDS is taken for granted.

4. Richard Attenborough, quoted in San Francisco Bay Guardian, November 11,1987; Euzhan Palcy interviewed by Marlaine Glickamen, in Film Comment, September-October 1989, p. 65.

5. Donald Woods, Filming with Attenborough: The Making of CRY FREEDOM (New York: Henry Halt, 1987). p. 14.

6. André Brink, A DRY WHITE SEASON.

7. Stuart Klawans, in The Nation, October 30, 1989, p. 508,

8. Both CRY FREEDOM and A DRY WHITE SEASON ran afoul of the South African authorities and have only recently been released there.

9. Pauline Kael, in The New Yorker. October 2, 1989, p. 101; see also Stanley Kaufman, in The New Republic. October 9, 1989, p. 25.

10. For example, see The Weekly Mail, April 5-11, 1990.

11. For example, see The Weekly Mail, May 4-10, 1990, regarding the reception of A DRY WHITE SEASON in a township theatre.

12. Comments made by Euzhan Palcy at the San Francisco premiere of A DRY WHITE SEASON at Cinema 21, September 19, 1989; at San Francisco State University, April 27, 1990; and in interview by Marlaine Glicksman, in Film Comment, September-October 1989, p. 66.

13. Variety, November 4, 1987; see also New York Times, November 1, 1987.

14. Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973).

15. New York Times, November 1, 1987.

16. Palcy interviewed by Madame Glicksman, in Film Comment, September-October 1989, p. 69.

17. Woods, Filming with Attenborough, pp. 111-112, 163.

18. Donald Woods, Biko (New York: Henry Holt, 1987), p. 147.

19. Keith Tribe, "History and the Production of Memories," in Screen 18 (Winter 1977-1978), p. 16.

20. Cohn McCabe, quoted by Tribe, p. 16.

21. Woods, Filming with Attenborough, p. 100.

22. Fabius Burger, in The Weekly Mail, October 6-12, 1989.