Taglines: The true story of the friendship that shook South Africa and awakened the world.
Donald Woods is chief editor of the liberal newspaper Daily Dispatch in South Africa. He has written several editorials critical of the views of Steve Biko. But after having met him for the first time, he changes his opinion. They meet several times, and this means that Woods and his family get attention from the security police. When Steve Biko dies in police custody, he writes a book about Biko. The only way to get it published is for Woods himself to illegally escape the country.
Cry Freedom is a 1987 British epic drama film directed by Richard Attenborough, set in late-1970s apartheid era South Africa. The screenplay was written by John Briley based on a pair of books by journalist Donald Woods. The film centres on the real-life events involving black activist Steve Biko and his friend Donald Woods, who initially finds him destructive, and attempts to understand his way of life. Denzel Washington stars as Biko, while actor Kevin Kline portrays Woods. Cry Freedom delves into the ideas of discrimination, political corruption, and the repercussions of violence.
The film was primarily shot on location in Zimbabwe and in Kenya due to political turmoil in South Africa at the time of production. As a film showing mostly in limited cinematic release, it was nominated for multiple awards, including Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song. It also won a number of awards including those from the Berlin International Film Festival and the British Academy Film Awards.
A joint collective effort to commit to the film’s production was made by Universal Pictures and Marble Arch Productions. It was commercially distributed by Universal Pictures cinematically, and by MCA Home Video for home media. Cry Freedom premiered in cinemas nationwide in the United States on 6 November 1987 grossing $5,899,797 in domestic ticket receipts. The film was at its widest release showing in 479 cinemas nationwide. It was generally met with positive critical reviews before its initial screening in cinemas.
Cry Freedom (1987)
Directed by: Richard Attenborough
Starring: Denzel Washington, Kevin Kline, Josette Simon, Juanita Waterman, Evelyn Sithole, Xoliswa Sithole, John Matshikiza, Penelope Wilton, Kate Hardie
Screenplay by: John Briley
Production Design by: Stuart Craig
Cinematography by: Ronnie Taylor
Film Editing by: Lesley Walker
Costume Design by: John Mollo
Set Decoration by: Michael Seirton
Art Direction by: Norman Dorme, John King, George Richardson
Music by: George Fenton, Jonas Gwangwa
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: ovember 6, 1987