Cry, The Beloved Country

"Very Good"

Cry, The Beloved Country Review


We had an execution, jilted lovers, big-time payback, and at least three sprawling examinations of someone's life. Now we get an apartheid film: another in the string of "serious movies" coming out in the last few weeks.

Cry, the Beloved Country is James Earl Jones's magnum opus, a film in which he gets to really stretch his range as an actor, even though the film doesn't give him much room to do so. The movie is the story of aging Zulu priest Stephen Kumalo (Jones) and his search for his sister and son in 1946 Johannesburg. A stranger in a strange land, Kumalo soon finds his country ways unsuited for life in the bustling city, and he is victimized by thieves almost as soon as he arrives.

Kumalo finds his sister soon enough: she's a prostitute in the seediest section of town. Finding son Absalom is a different matter altogether, and a convoluted investigation finally leads him to his son's life of crime, a pregnant girlfriend, and the sort-of-accidental murder of a prominent, white, social reformer. To make matters worse, this man is the son of Kumalo's wealthy neighbor, James Jarvis (Richard Harris). Kumalo becomes wrapped up in his son's trial, but more interestingly, attempts to reconcile things with Jarvis.

Harris and Jones are amazing when on screen together, but this is all too rare, as they interact in only three brief scenes. The rest of the picture is very beautiful, but its deliberate, plodding pace seems to drag the movie on for an eternity. There's no big surprise about what's going to happen, but the sheer heart that Jones, Harris, and director Darrell James Roodt have imbued to the film give it an uncommon bouyance and it manages to rise above its flawed pacing.

The message of Cry, the Beloved Country, that compassion and forgiveness are crucial if society is to develop to the next level, is almost completely foreign in cinema today. And it is that compassion that makes this picture so oddly memorable.

Cry babies.



Cry, The Beloved Country

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th December 1995

Box Office Worldwide: $676.5 thousand

Distributed by: Miramax

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Fresh: 11 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Darrell James Roodt

Producer:

Starring: as Rev. Stephen Kumalo, Charles S. Dutton as John Kumalo, Jack Robinson as Ian Jarvis, Tsholofelo Wechoemang as Child, Ramalao Makhene as Ramalao Makhene, as James Jarvis, Dolly Rathebe as Mrs. Kumalo, Jennifer Steyn as Mary Jarvis, as Evans, David Clatworthy as Clerk of the court

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.