Cry, the Beloved Country

Released 1995


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Movie Summary

Darrell James Roodt
Cry, the Beloved Country is based on the book of the same name by Alan Paton. The story follows the lives of two men who both live in South Africa, but have very different lives. Reverend Stephen Kumalo (James Earl Jones) is a black man. He must go to Johannesburg after his son, Absalom (Eric Miyeni), goes missing. He believes that Johannesburg is an immoral city, and his beliefs are unfortunately proven true. He finds that his son is being held in prison for the death of a white man, who was an activist for racial justice. The white man's father is James Jarvis (Richard Harris), a neighbor of Stephen. James must go to Johannesburg to deal with the death of his son, whom he has kept distant due to his own racist beliefs. After reading some of his son's letters, James comes to terms with apartheid and the loss of his son.

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Because movies have become so invested in the unleashing of violent emotion and the escalation of hostility, that expressions of restraint, reconciliation and forgiveness can easil...

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    Fortunately, in image and structure Roodt and Harwood go for a steadfast simplicity that builds to a beautiful moment of rekindled faith for the grieving Rev. Kumalo that lifts Cry...

  • 70

    Variety Leonard Klady

    A richly realized piece of Masterpiece Literature, director Darrell James Roodt's Cry, the Beloved Country has an admirable high polish. But more effort could have been made to add...

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