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Cry Freedom (Widescreen) (Bilingual)

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Josette Simon, Wabei Siyolwe, John Matshikiza
  • Directors: Richard Attenborough
  • Writers: John Briley, Donald Woods
  • Producers: Richard Attenborough, John Briley, Norman Spencer, Terence A. Clegg
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Sept. 12 2006
  • Run Time: 159 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0783230532
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,177 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

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.


Ce film de sir Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) relatant l'amitié entre l'activiste noir sud-africain Steven Biko et un rédacteur en chef sympathisant (Kevin Kline) ne connut qu'un succès mitigé. Le style du réalisateur est particulièrement brillant dans la première moitié du film qui traite de la vie et de l'histoire de Biko, mais une fois le leader entre les mains de la police blanche, le récit se concentre sur le personnage de Kline et sur ses efforts pour fuir le pays avec sa famille. En choisissant de faire dériver l'histoire sur le destin du journaliste, le réalisateur commet une grave erreur qui ôte au film toute sa puissance. La vie et l'oeuvre de Steven Biko méritaient bien toute la durée du film. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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Cry Freedom is a good movie that somehow falls short of expectations. A previous reviewer suggested it should have been about Steve Biko only leaving out Donald Woods'daring escape from South Africa. I disagree because without Donald Woods escape with Biko's manuscript and making the world aware of Biko, his beliefs and what happened to him then Biko would have been anonymous, just another black prisoner tortured and murdered by white authorities and we would know nothing about him. But yet I think I understand what prompted the other reviewer's comment. The movie is divided into two distinct parts, Part 1 being about Biko and Part 2 about Woods' escape. At the end of Part 1 when Biko dies in prison the viewer is left unfulfilled and wanting to know more but the movie abruptly shifts to part 2, Woods' escape. And that also leaves the viewer wanting more, wanting to see what happens next. I suggest it should have been longer and the entire thing restructured to follow Woods after his arrival in England, using numerous flashbacks to tell Biko's story and his own escape. But it is still a good movie, informative and thought provoking.
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Format: DVD
The criticism I've heard when this movie is being discussed has always bothered me to some degree. The knock against it is that Denzel Washington is so strong in the role of Steve Biko, and he himself was such an important figure in South African history, that he deserves a movie of his own. Now, while I agree with this assessment, and hope that maybe a Djimon Hounsou or Chiwetel Ejiofor will revisit the role at some future date, I can't help but feel that these people are judging the movie for what they wanted it to be, and not what's actually up there on the screen.
Not only that, but I feel that the loss of Biko midway through the film actually serves a purpose. And that purpose is, by the final half-hour, when we're privileged enough to have a few flashbacks of him, we realize what a loss he has been to the movie, and to the world. So by having him cut out of a good portion of the film, we're made to grieve his death while the movie continues to soldier forward.
Oh, and by the way, it's not like that second half is a dog, either. It's just not quite as good as the first. I mean, if this movie were cut in two (ala "Kill Bill"), we'd being saying that part one was brilliant, while part two was merely very good. And considering that the 80's were hardly a golden age for Hollywood, that ain't bad.
Now, getting back to Denzel, this is not only the best performance of his career, but possibly one of the greatest ever captured on celluloid, and I find it deeply disconcerting that he didn't win an Academy Award for this performance while he was honored for a menial role in "Training Day" (I'll post a review later explaining my opinion).
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Format: DVD
Mr Keogh claims that this movie is only semi-successful because its focus shifts halfway through to focus on Donald Woods' attempt to escape South Africa. I do not think that this is a flaw in the film, though, because the film was based upon Woods' writings about both Steve Biko AND his escape from South Africa. The movie was not intended to be simply a biopic about Biko, because it was based upon the work that Woods wrote.
I watched this film in an African Philosphy course in which we read some of Biko's own work and personally, I feel that the entire film is a wonderful film. It is true that the emphasis does shift to Donald Woods' escape, but the scene where he is looking down on South Africa from the airplane that then shifts to the protest/massacre of school children is both beutifally stirring (the protest) and utterly horrific (the massacre that then esues). To anyone interested in human rights or the struggles agains Apartheid that Biko helped contribute to, I would recommend this movie highly.
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By A Customer on March 20 2002
Format: DVD
I loved this story from the first time I saw it. Kevin Kline is another actor who can swing from the clown to the serious with great ease. It would be hard to say who should have been given a oscar for their role in this movie for Densel Washington was just as great too. Im glad I added it to my collection.
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By A Customer on June 8 2001
Format: DVD
The first time I saw this movie was as a hard to please teen in High School. It was during the hot Aussie summmer months and all myself and my fellow classmates wanted to was install some airconditioning, put our feet up and sip lemonade. What we didn't want to do was watch yet another boring tear jerker about the harsher sides of life in a country that we couldn't give two hoots about. What we got was a lesson in life.
From the moment Cry Freedom began I was hooked. Not only does it present to you superb landscapes and two famous Hollywood actors, but it also gave you a tremendous insight into the horrors of Apartheid. This movie was a factual account of the lives of Bantu Steven Biko (the Black South African Activist who was prepared to die for his beliefs) and white South African newspaper editor Donald Woods. The movie was based on the published novel written by Woods himself which was smuggled out of South Africa to England where it could be read by the public (the books by Woods and this movie were both banned materials in South Africa). It is a sad and honest account of the frustrating way of life for a black person living under the thumb of white supremists. Hopefully others will see this numbing account and allow their eyes to be opened to the injustice continuing around the world.
This is one of my all time favourite movies. One of the most powerful stories told on the silver screen.
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